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Graduation Pictures Are a Forever Memory

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Graduation Pictures Are a Forever Memory

It’s close to graduation and with a flurry of activity you may not have thought about senior portraits yet. Or, as a junior going into senior year, you may already be thinking about senior photos! Either way, the time is now to start planning, prepping, and scheduling your high school senior photos. But, what do you need to know before you go? These tips will help you know what to bring and what to expect when working with a professional photographer.

Scheduling: Choosing the right time to plan your photos is determined by many different factors. Do you want them in time to be included in the yearbook? Do you want winter portraits instead of spring photos? Do you want a seasonal hobby or sport represented? Schedule your photos early in the year so you can use them for yearbook photos, graduation announcements, and more.

What to Wear: choose two or three outfits max - one that’s dressier and another that’s casual. Choose clothes that are comfortable, not too loose or tight, and with colors that are flattering to your skin tone and hair color. Stay away from neon colors or clashing patterns, as these will distract from your face.

Makeup and Grooming: Professional makeup provides a special touch for formal photos since you’ll hold onto these photos for a long time. However, doing your makeup yourself will look more natural, as you’ll look the same as you do every day. We recommend that if you hire a professional makeup artist, you request a very natural look. When choosing your hairstyle, go for something that isn’t too far from the norm of your everyday style. Men should have a clean shave on the day of the shoot.

Ideas to use in your photos:

  • Writing/singing your graduating year as a “prop”
  • Wearing shirts or displaying memorabilia from the college you’re going to
  • Incorporating the music, art, sports program you’re involved in
  • Using your favorite book of the year as a prop
  • Taking photos at your favorite high school hangout

Tendo Photography specializes in senior portraits. We can create the perfect portrait art, incorporate family photos, and make your senior portraits everything you wanted. Want to schedule a time before it’s too late? Contact us today!

Lighting Workshops

Lighting Workshops

As a beginning photographer, one of the best ways to improve your pictures is by improving your lighting. Setting the right light can alter the quality, clarity, and mood of your photos. As you become more comfortable with the mechanics of your camera, especially its manual settings, playing with light sources and elements can add new depth to your subjects and dimension to your work. These are some basic tips you can use during your next project to improve your photographic lighting:

Use constant light instead of flash whenever possible. Flash photography is useful in some circumstances, but as a rule of thumb you want to implement light sources into your photo without flash. You can use artificial lights for indoor settings, but natural light is usually preferred.

Position the light source based on your photo type. Landscape and portrait photos demand different types of light to accentuate figures and either augment or diminish shadow and sharp detail. For portraits, you want to use light that is behind your subject to illuminate the face without causing shadows. You want to keep the light source above the subject, but not too high as to create unflattering shadows on the face. When taking portraits, you should also use more than one light source to reduce shadows on one side of the face.

Front lighting will make objects sharper, which is good for landscapes, but not for portraits. Landscapes always use natural lighting, so you’ll have to play with the angle of the photograph rather than the angle of the lighting to get it right.

Use shadows pointedly. As a rule of thumb, you want to reduce shadows in your photos because they cover up details and can create unflattering shapes in portraits. But, you can use shadows to your advantage as part of the photographic design. Shadows can make your photo more three dimensional. However, you don’t want to use them in portraits where it will distort or cover up your subject’s face.

Use the color tone of light to your advantage. Light may seem colorless, but it has subtle hues that can alter or in some cases enhance the quality of your photos. Matching the lighting hue to the color tones in your photograph will accentuate the colors and make them more vibrant. Incandescent and morning light have a warm tone, whereas fluorescent and midday lighting have a bluish tint. Keep this in mind when choosing your lighting source or time of your photo shoot.

Want to learn more about photography lighting?

Every third Saturday from 10am to 12pm, Tendo Photography offers a FREE lighting workshop to local photographers and student photographers. You will get the opportunity to learn how to use various lighting equipment in-studio and on-location. You get hands-on experience with professional equipment, and can improve your technique tremendously after just one workshop. Participants should have basic knowledge of operating a camera and how to use manual settings on a digital camera. Stay connected for more workshops to come!

Springtime Portraits

Springtime Portraits

It was a beautiful, mild winter in Colorado Springs this year, and with spring rolling around we can’t wait for springtime photoshoots! With the flowers blooming, snow melting, and warm air coming our way, it’s a good time to schedule your yearly family portraits, senior and prom photos, or portrait art shoot. However, we know oftentimes finding inspiration is the hardest part of planning your portrait. Here are some of the most popular springtime portrait ideas for 2018:

Lakeside Portraits

Colorado Springs has several lakes that are perfect for individual and family portraits. Lakeside portraits give you many different options. You can use the lake as background, hop in your kayak or bring a fishing pole and take action shots, or incorporate the natural surroundings into interactive portraits. Lake views give you plenty of options, and create classic photos that you’ll love. Some of the most popular sites include Quail Lake Park, Manitou Lake, and Cottonwood Creek Park.

Mountain Foliage

In the springtime, the mountainous regions of Colorado burst with greenery and various foliage that serve as the perfect contrast to the Rockies’ grey, towering presence. In the wintertime, the mountains create a stark, quiet backdrop, but in the spring the mountains flood with color and light. Use this in your portrait settings to create contrast and add to the beauty of your photos.

Springtime Outdoor Activities

Many Colorado residents enjoy hiking, fishing, camping, bike riding, and more. Why not incorporate these activities into your portraits? Make your photos come to life as you plan a bike ride or fishing trip and incorporate the real joy into your shoot.


Flowers are a staple of springtime mood and art. Colorado Springs parks and wildlife areas this time of year are covered with wildflowers that make much prettier backgrounds than poised gardens or fake flowers. Wildflowers add a bohemian mood to your photographs - the perfect mood for a springtime photoshoot.

If you want to schedule springtime family photos or a portrait art shoot, contact Tendo Photography here.

Dressed in Your Sunday Best

Easter is finally on the way! This year Easter falls on April 1, which is coming faster than you may think. Instead of spending your Easter afternoon at home, plan your family photoshoot for the special day:

Your family is already in their “Sunday Best.” Since your family will already be dressed for the occasion, it’s convenient for you to take some time out of your Easter afternoon for family portraits. Springtime clothing is also more optimal for portraits, rather than bulky winter attire.

The whole family will be together. It’s not often that the whole family has the same schedule and can take the same day off work or school for a family photo shoot. However, Easter Sunday is a time for family. After the morning events have transpired, why not gather everyone and plan some time to get your annual photos taken?

The children will be happy. In general, kids don’t enjoy having photos taken. They don’t want to sit still and pose, get dressed up, or listen to a photographer tell them what to do. But, on Easter morning they get to go on an Easter egg hunt, visit family, and have fun. This is the perfect time to take natural photos, while they’re running around and enjoying the holiday.

Springtime weather is perfect for outdoor photos. Christmastime isn’t the optimal time for photos in Colorado because outdoor portraits are usually out of the question. However, this time of year the wildflowers are in bloom and the weather is nice and warm (usually!). It’s the best time for outdoor photos by the lake, in the mountains, or in the Colorado state parks.

Springtime Portrait Ideas:

  • Wildflower fields, picking or watering flowers
  • Childrens’ photos with farm animals (with baby chicks, bunnies, or a family pet)
  • Traditional portraits in your Sunday Best
  • Children with their Easter basket
  • Church photos in your church or outside

For more ideas, or to schedule an Easter photoshoot, contact Tendo Photography. We’re scheduling Easter shoots fast, so book today!

Creating a Professional Photo Book Workshop on March 10 2018

Tendo Photography is pleased to be hosting a two hour workshop presented by professional landscape photographer Judith Kimbrell of Mother Nature Photography this upcoming March 10, 2018 from 1 to 3 p.m.  Judith will be discussing the creation of her retail hardback book Garden of the Gods which is part of her Capturing Colorado Series.

Learn valuable insights from Judith about the basic process of creating a photo book for personal or retail use, including her trials and tribulations during the design and printing process.  Other topics include:

  • Personal versus retail books
  • The importance of market research
  • Publishing and printing options
  • Design software and tips
  • Selling

Call Judith at 719.229.6048 for early registration at only $55 per person. 

The workshop will be held at the Tendo Photography studio in Colorado Springs for which directions will be provided upon registration.  Judith's Garden of the Gods book is available online from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Wal-Mart.

Professional Photography for Marketing and Advertising

Juliet Miles at Luisa Graff Jewelers billboard As the leading jewelry store in Colorado Springs, Luisa Graff Jewelers always presents themselves and their beautiful jewelry with photography that reflects the high quality standards that they are dedicated to delivering for their customers.  Many of the photographs featured in billboards and other advertising material were taken by Juliet Miles of Tendo Photography.  The Harman Media & Marketing Group entrusted Juliet to deliver outstanding commercial photographs of Luisa and Andrew to incorporate into marketing materials not just for the holidays but also for advertising campaigns running into 2018.

Successful business owners know that professionally-crafted photographs are essential to showing themselves and their products in a way that truly reflects the quality of what they do and how they serve their customers.  Selfies and amateur snapshots just won't do.  Schedule your appointment with Tendo Photography to discuss what we can do to help present your business in the best possible light.


Prom Photo Dos and Don'ts

Ready to schedule your photoshoot? Call Tendo Photography and book your dates today.

  • Do find a location with good lighting and light traffic. You're likely going to want to take your photos right before Prom, but remember that sunset lighting isn't always the best. Choose a time in the late afternoon where you'll have enough time to get ready, but the lighting and scenery looks its best. When choosing your location, pick a spot that is sentimental to your high school days (a favorite park or public attraction) but make sure it's somewhere that usually has little traffic so you're not competing for space.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to do your hair and makeup. Of course you want your hair and makeup to look perfect right before the photos, but you also want enough time to relax rather than rush to your meeting place. Plus, you may want to do touchups or corrections once your look is complete.
  • Do study your favorite photos of yourself. Your photographer will help you choose flattering poses and angles, but they don't know what you like best about yourself in photos. Find some of your favorite photos and show them to your photographer so they know what you're looking for.
  • Don't make a big fuss. Prom is stressful up until the moment you finally arrive and get to have fun. Yes, you want everything to be perfect, but remember this is supposed to be a fun event, not just a photoshoot. If something goes wrong, laugh it off! There's nothing so important about your photos that should ruin your big day.
  • Do bring inspiration from other photos you like to your photographer. Check out Pinterest and Instagram for prom inspiration and send these photos to your photographer ahead of time. They can mimic some poses or at least get a better idea of whether you want your shoot to be more intimate and personal or silly and fun. If you're going with a group, team up with your friends to find inspiration that captures your friendship throughout your high school years.
  • Don't direct the photoshoot yourself. You may have some specific ideas in mind, but remember that your photographer does want what's best for you and should be the lead in arranging your poses and shots. Trust that she or he is doing the best job possible and take time to enjoy the photoshoot.
  • Do take some photos with your parents. This is a proud moment for your parents, just as much as it is for you. It may seem corny, but your parents want to be involved and you should take at least a couple of pictures with them in the beginning. Girls, remember that Mom will be excited to see you in your dress, so let her celebrate with you!
  • Don't forget to enjoy yourself! Prom is the biggest event of the year, and it should be fun. Don't stress yourself out over the details. Just remember that no matter what happens, this is your night to party and celebrate the year.

How to Create Your Wedding Photography Mood Board

Bride and BridesmaidsBride and BridesmaidsBride and bridesmaids in a tunnel at the Denver Marriott Westminster. Congratulations! You're getting ready for the big day, which comes with a lot of planning (and a lot of stress, we know). But, it all pays off in the end when you get to celebrate and cherish the new life with your spouse.

One of the most crucial steps to wedding planning is creating your theme and planning for your wedding photos. Your photographer will be there every step of the way to ensure your perfect day is captured from beginning to end. To help your photographer do her job, it's time to start your wedding mood board.

A mood board doesn't have to contain the exact elements of your wedding. It should rather convey to the photographer what sort of style you like, and what images, colors, and elements are most important to you. It essentially describes the "theme" of your wedding. Examples include country weddings, era-themed weddings, or even just a collection of color schemes and objects that you find most important for your day.

Start with a list of guide words. These are the stepping stones to finding images and items that shape your wedding theme and photographs. Do you want your wedding to be?:

  • Elegant
  • Modern
  • Bohemian
  • Nature-Inspired
  • Traditional
  • Vintage
  • Rustic
  • Colorful

Next, you want to choose colors and textures that accentuate your theme. You don't have to stick to wedding elements here - find colors and textures in all types of photos that you like, even if they won't be used in the wedding itself. You want to choose items that are thematically similar, but separate in their subject. For example, if your wedding is in the fall, find photos with warm colors, nature-inspired objects and images, or elements that remind you of fall. Once you've selected a few general photos, you can start to choose wedding-specific images that you may incorporate into the ceremony.

You don't have to use photos of your actual dress, the flowers you order, or even the decor you want, but find pictures of your ideal wedding elements that will help guide your photographer. If there are specific details that are special to you, include them at the top of your board. If you do have decor picked out, use them to shape your board and fill in the details.

Check out Pinterest for ideas and inspiration, but most importantly, go with what your heart wants. This is your day, and it should be unique to you. Talk to your Tendo Photography photographer for more ideas and help with creating your board. We want to make your wedding day the best it can be.

Best Places to Take Senior Photos In and Near Colorado Springs

High School Senior Sunset SilhouetteHigh School Senior Sunset SilhouettePortrait take at sunset in Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Your high school senior year is one of the most difficult but also most rewarding times in your life. You're close to college, getting your first job, and moving into the adult world. You'll want to remember this year, capturing the time in your life when you're allowed to grow, make mistakes, and set a greater vision for yourself.

Even though graduation seems like a long way off, it's closer than you imagine. Planning your senior portraits now is the best option because soon you'll be focused on prom, finals, and graduation prep. These are some of our favorite places for senior portraits in Colorado Springs, each with its own charm and uniqueness you won't get in your standard yearbook photos:

Outdoor Locations

Rock Ledge Ranch

This beautiful historical site is one of Colorado Spring's most popular event and photography spots. From the park you'll have a great view of the Garden of the Gods as well as the historical farm sites and rocky red cliffs that make the area unique.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space

Red Rock Canyon is similar to the Ranch with its beautiful views of the red cliffs. However, there are a few more ponds and lakes that are great for senior photos. This park is stunning in the springtime, especially if you go down the urban trails for your shoot.

Monument Valley Park

This park is centrally located in Colorado Springs and provides a slightly more urban setting for your photos. The best place for your shoot here is in the rose garden which provides a stunning natural background and brings life to your portraits.

Rainbow Falls Historic Site

This has been a popular senior photography spot for decades. The site is being restored to its original natural grandeur. During the summer this can be a terrific spot to include for some of your senior portraits. Due to its popularity and limited available parking space at the west end of Manitou Springs, scheduling your time here during weekdays is strongly encouraged.

Indoor Locations

Miramont Castle Museum

If you're looking for a unique, historical and picturesque location, this museum is the place to go. Take your photos over one of the window views to capture a Colorado mountainside. Make sure you call ahead to plan your shoot and find areas of the museum that are appropriate for your photos.

Broadmoor Hotel

This five-star hotel is also one of Colorado Springs' oldest hotels. It overlooks a stunning lake and greenery so you can plan your shoot for indoor or outdoor weather. The hotel is Colorado Springs' finest, and you must call in advance to book a time and place for your photos.

Glen Eyrie Castle

The Glen Eyrie Castle is one of Colorado's most popular wedding destinations, but it's perfect for senior and family portraits as well. You'll find many unique backgrounds for your photos and can do both indoor and outdoor shoots if weather allows.

Congrats Seniors, you only have a few more months left until you're officially graduates! Contact Tendo Photography to schedule your shoot or learn more about our services.

5 Tips for Great Professional Headshots and Photos

Resumes, LinkedIn profiles, portfolios, and more... A great headshot can help you stand out among your colleagues and peers as you're looking for that next job or step up in your career. Check off these five things before you go to your photo shoot, and you will look and feel your very best.

Drink plenty of water and and get a good night's sleep prior to your photo shoot to avoid dark circles under your eyes. You'll want to look naturally fresh for your photos. A makeup artist can reduce blemishes, but having a natural glow will show through your photos and make you look and feel more confident.

Wear something comfortable, professional, and natural. You don't want to look overdressed, or draw attention away from your face with bright colors and patterns. Choose solid color clothing that fits the business attire of your professional field.  Remember to iron your clothes before the shoot! If you don't have time, spray your outfit with a wrinkle remover and let it dry an hour before you get dressed.

If you plan to wear makeup, go for a natural look. For professional photos you don't typically need a makeup artist - you'll look and feel more yourself if you use the same products you do day-today. Avoid bright or shimmering tones in your eye shadow and lip color as they will distract from your face. If you don't normally wear makeup, feel free to skip it. A makeup artist can help you cover blemishes and bring out the natural glow in your facial tone without making you look like someone you're not.

Choose a simple hairstyle that frames your face. It may be tempting to go all out for the shoot, but the focus of the photos is your face, not your hairstyle. If you have long hair, wear it either naturally or in a simple updo that looks professional and clean. Hair bands, clips, and other accessories should be minimally visible if worn at all. If your hair is colored, go ahead and get your roots touched up.

Pro Tip: Don't get your hair cut or styled differently the day before the shoot. It's better to have a style you're used to than to have to adjust the day your session.

What to Bring:

  • Hair brush, bobby pins, and any other styling products you use on a regular basis
  • An extra change of clothes
  • Makeup/styling products for touchups
  • Your best smile!

A New Year calls for a new you. Tendo Photography professional headshots and portraits for any occasion. To learn more about our services, click here.