Wednesday, January 16, 2013

At Lens Friends, You Call the Shots

A message popped up from my sister in law a few weeks before the holidays, confirming the dates for our annual family trip back to my hometown of Huntingdon Valley.

She was trying to finalize a gift for our mother. And with all three of my mom's grandchildren scheduled to be in the same corner of the state at once - a rarity since my husband and I (the owners of two of those children) moved six hours away to Pittsburgh - it was the perfect time to give her a portrait session with those grandchildren at Lens Friends.

I had never been to Lens Friends, the "Do It Yourself" Photography Studio located in the Valley Courtyard Shoppes in Huntingdon Valley, PA.

My sister-in-law, on the other hand, is a regular.

After our 30 minute (and then some) session, I can see why.

That's because Lens Friends isn't your everyday photo studio. There's nothing stuffy or pretentious about this place. In fact, it's the exact opposite. Lens Friends is all about having fun.

The concept is unique: at Lens Friends, you're the photographer. Forget the chain store cheesy creepy dude that scares the living bejaysus out of toddlers and their parents. You're the one calling the shots here.

That means if you don't like a backdrop? You can change it. You want some people in some photos, others in different ones? Various poses? Done. You can even use your camera if you really want to (but the ones at Lens Friends are pretty awesome).

Best of all, there's no haggling over packages; at the end of your session, you get a CD with every image from your session. No waiting for proofs or any of that nonsense.

I admit, I was a little skeptical as to how this was going to go. I shouldn't have been. Kara greeted us with a big smile (and my sister-in-law by name) as soon as we walked in the doors. Almost immediately, the kids (my niece as well as Betty and Boo) were drawn to the props that were everywhere.

Like this guy.

Boo spent most of his time attached to this bear.
He was in a silly mood this morning ... to say the least.

After a few quick adjustments to the camera settings, some switching of the backdrops (we wanted less of a holiday look), and a couple of pointers and tips on shootings, we were on our way.

Boo was having an off day. He was being goofy, sensing a new audience for his performance and putting on a show. Our new friends at Lens Friends took all this in stride and never made any disparaging comments, which tells you something about how they work with kids with special needs, like Boo.

In fact, as a parent of a child with autism, I think Lens Friends would be the perfect photography studio to work with kids on the autism spectrum. There could be a lot of stimulation with the props, sure, but that might allow a child's natural joy, curiosity, and wonder to come shining through.

Which is exactly what we want the world to see in all of our pictures, regardless, don't we?

As our session was coming to a close, I realized that I would have loved a new headshot for my new professional work-related purposes. I thought of it too late, though.

(This one of me is the best I could do. It's cropped and untouched from a family photo we took.)

You, however, are in luck.

This Friday, January 18, Lens Friends is hosting a "First Impression Headshot Networking Event" where you can get a new headshot for all your social media needs. Best of all, it's completely free!

Where: Lens Friends LLC 2531 Huntingdon Pike Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006 
When: Friday January 18, 2013 
Time: 5-8pm 
Pop in with your business cards, have a bite to eat, glass of wine and update your headshot. Be creative - what do you want your headshot to say about you and your business? Free to all Business Owners. 
Please RSVP by calling Lens Friends at 215-938-9801. 

It's a great chance to discover all that Lens Friends has to offer, which is - well, more than meets the eye. 

You can find more information about Lens Friends and prices for sessions here on their website.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated by Lens Friends in any way for this post. I'm just a happy customer, and I'm thrilled with our photos. And I know, I know ... it is odd to have a post about a visit to a photography studio without a bunch of the actual photos from the session itself, but you know my policy here on the blog about not publishing recognizable photos of my kids. I just don't do it. But trust me ... these new friends at Lens Friends are really good.

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1 comment:

Hillary Chybinski said...

LOVE Kara and Lens Friends! Wish I could go tonight - but hubbs is out of town. Kara did my headshot =)