To some, picking the perfect portrait location can seem like an overwhelming and daunting task. How do you know that location is the “right” choice? What can you expect? Are there a variety of settings and backdrops? You want a little bit of everything and don't know how to pick just one! Take a look at the guide below for my favorite portrait locations, photos and a description of each!
What better place to get your senior photos taken than a place that is "actively building their photographic collections?" The George Eastman Museum is a stunning mansion with sprawling gardens. It provides the perfect mix of architecture, florals and greenery. Perfect for any session and enough variety to make the session one of a kind.
Do you ever see those photos lit by the perfect golden glow and wonder how the heck you find such amazing light (it's called golden hour for a reason)? Chances are you probably haven't been to Mendon Ponds Nature Center at sundown. Providing the perfect mix of fields, trees, fences and a white wash/cobblstone barn, this location has a little bit of everything. Great for engagement shoots, seniors, and families!
Schoen place is an all time favorite and one of the most popular locations for Kala Wilins Photography. With rustic buildings, quaint shops and the historic Erie Canal, you get the perfect mix of old time and modern. White washed structures and rusty reds make the perfect backdrop for a family photo or senior portrait. The light hitting the canal in the evenings provides for a beautiful setting and you can't beat the atmosphere. Finish up your portrait session with some ice cream from the Pittsford Dairy or dinner on the water!
Tinker Nature Park provides you with the perfect happy medium between structure and nature. The Cobblestone House and white barn provide a fresh yet rustic feel making for the perfect senior portrait backdrop. Keep walking and you'll see beautifully manicured lawns and gardens. You can frolic through fields, explore the paths, and take advantage of the many fences, benches and trees. This location gives you a little bit of everything without feeling too overwhelming.
This is the perfect spot for "keeping it simple" - it's my go-to spot for young families and casual seniors. The foliage is always green and rich, a creek runs through the park and the bridge overlooking the creek is one of my favorite photo spots!
The Memorial Art Gallery is simple yet beautiful. It has a perfect variety of art, architecture. It has clean paths through a simple garden of sculptures and is a great spot for sessions later in the day when the sun is lower in the sky.
Other popular session locations include Highland Park, The Sunken Gardens, Ontario Beach Park, Corbetts Glen and many, many more! Your options are far from limited! The locations listed above are popular among clients, however I believe in doing what it takes to bring out your personality and spirit. Let's work together to pick the perfect location!
Last month, I had the absolute pleasure of photographing Grace and Dave's wedding in Buffalo, NY. When they told me they wanted to take pictures at Niagara Falls, I was thrilled. Little did I know, their infectious personalities, happiness, and obvious love for each other would make the experience that much better.
We started the day with an absolutely beautiful ceremony, then headed to the falls. I give this wedding party props - they put up with the heat better than anyone. Even I was sweating, so I cannot imagine what it must have felt like in long dresses and full suits!
Thank you Grace and Dave for being so fun and easy to photograph. Take a look at some (a lot) of my favorite photos from the day. Enjoy!
To view all of Grace & Dave's photos click here!
A month later and I’m finally finding some time to share a few photos and videos from my trip to Nicaragua last month. If you follow me on any social media platform, you are probably already sick of seeing these posts, so I’m going to keep it short and sweet.
Last month I traveled to Nicaragua to photograph and video an Optometry Giving Sight sponsored mission trip. Over the course of four clinic days, over 800 people received eye exams, and hundreds of those walked away with new glasses. Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Central America. The majority of the country makes less than one hundred dollars per month. Most of these people cannot afford glasses, so many have gone the majority of their lives with no vision care. Although we were unable to help everyone, it was incredible to play a part in contributing to the lives of so many.
Overall, this trip was absolutely life changing. When people ask me about the experience, I have a hard time putting it into words. I am so thankful I have the photos and videos to do that for me.
I have included a video I produced for company marketing purposes, a slideshow of some of the patients we saw, and some incredible sights/wildlife. Enjoy!
P.S. Be prepared to be overloaded with wedding blogs next!!
It’s amazing how many pictures one person can take in just 3 days It’s also amazing how much adventure you can pack into that short amount of time. We spent an incredible Memorial Day Weekend with family and friends in Boulder, Colorado. Blog post number two will share some of my favorite photos and memories from this past weekend AND talk about where I’m off to next!
Day 1: 4:20am wake up calls are not ideal.
After a long travel day, we drove into Boulder and booked it to a restaurant for some Mexican and margs. Naturally, some of the first photos of the weekend. The rest of the day was spent meeting up with family and eating more fantastic food.
**Not pictured: The hail storm we experienced on our walk to the restaurant... while the sun was shining.
Day 2: Rain has nothin' on us
I've come to the conclusion that our family isn't the best at reading maps. Maybe it was the rain that threw everyone off. Either way, day two was quite the adventure. We decided to hike the Flatirons from Chautaqua Park. The weather that day started off mild and overcast, but just a few minutes into the hike, a light drizzle turned to a steady rain. After turning right at a fork in the trail, we followed a nice downhill path before realizing that perhaps we shouldn't be going downhill to reach the top of a mountain. Once we were back on track (about a mile out of the way), we followed the trail (wind, rain, and all) up the mountain. The Flatiron hike is absolutely beautiful when sunny. In this weather, it was just as incredible, however there was quite a bit of staring at our feet to avoid slippery rocks. It was absolutely worth the detour, drenched clothing, and muddy feet. Here are some of my faves:
The rest of the day was spent consuming coffee, cocktails, and food with friends and family.
Day 3: Stubborn horses and some wildlife
Yesterday (Sunday), we made our way to Estes Park to horseback ride. Having only been on a horse once or twice, I was expecting a leisurely ride through some wide open pasture with birds chirping and people singing (jk, but something like that). Instead, we spent two hours riding through the narrow trails and rocky, winding paths of Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park. We were greeted by two adorable Jack Russell Terriers, assigned horses, and sent on our way in a single file line. Buddy the horse was quite the instigator to his other horse pal, Todd (yes, Todd). This led to some interesting moments as well as a couple of painful bites to Todd's butt. Our lead horse had "digestive problems" and was sending some not-so-lovely smells into his tailwind (occupied by half a dozen horses/riders, us). Couple all of that with narrow switchbacks, large rocks, steep "cliffs" (large hills), and we had to put a lot of our faith in those animals. All in all, we managed to stay on our horses, so I'd say that in itself was a success. Taking pictures while on the back of a horse isn't the easiest feat, but I was pleased with what I came away with. Check it out:
After horseback riding and re-gaining our "land legs" we headed into Rocky Mountain National Park. My number one goal was to find and photograph some wildlife. Within minutes of entering, my wish was granted with a herd of Elk grazing on the side of the road. They weren't too far off, so I was able to capture some incredibly detailed shots!
Day 4: Bolder Boulder 10k --> airport = some stiff legs
Up and at em again this morning to run the Bolder Boulder 10k. The Bolder Boulder is one of the largest races in the country (world?) and usually caps out at over 50,000 participants. Over six miles at a mile above sea level is tough, so we were fortunate to have spent a few days acclimating to the altitude. Having done it before, we also knew what to expect. The perfect end to this weekend was crossing the finish line with my amazing fam.
Immediately following the race, I headed to the airport. I am finishing up this post from an airplane on my way to Managua, Nicaragua. For the next week I will be photographing and videoing an Optometry Gives Sight mission trip. We will be traveling to schools and small towns giving eye exams and distributing glasses to children who do not have the resources or means for this type of care. Looking forward to this life changing experience!
Okay, I’m doing it – I’m not sure how it’s going to go, but I’m going to try to start a blog this summer! For those of you that do not know me, my name is Kala, hi! If my math is correct (which it usually isn’t), this will be my 8th year as the owner and head photographer of Kala Wilkins Photography. I grew up in Pittsford, NY and now live in downtown Rochester. Starting around this time every year, I don’t stop, ever. My summers consist of senior portraits, weddings, family portraits, and lots of travel.
Although my primary business focus is portrait photography, I’m hoping that through this blog, I can share with you a little bit of everything, including the more personal and intimate side of Kala Wilkins Photography; my thoughts, adventures, and occasional ramblings. With a very exciting few weeks coming up, I figured that now is as good a time as any to get this thing rolling.
I actually tried to start this a couple of weeks ago after my first photo shoot of the season, Jace! This impromptu little session made me SO excited for the summer ahead. I love photographing kids because they’re about as candid as you can get. It’s not about getting “that perfect shot” it’s about capturing them and their joy and infatuation with life. This, in turn, usually ends up being “that perfect shot.”
I first met Jace a little less than two years ago. At the time, he was a 6 week old tiny little thing. Now, he’s a walking (running), talking, and brilliant not-quite-two-year-old. I’m not sure what impressed me more, his “one two buckle my shoe” monologue, or the fact that he was able to repeatedly throw a whiffle ball at a tree – and hit it! Looks like we may have a future Yankee player on our hands!
I love sorting through photos after a session. I was particularly excited about this one because it was a familiar face. I immediately pulled up the photos I took of Jace almost two years prior and began comparing. Two things stood out to me: those big blue eyes and some very similar facial expressions. Check it out (below).
I’m excited to share with you some of my upcoming adventures (and lots of photographs). This coming Friday begins a very exciting few weeks! Stay tuned.