FAQ: I want to lose ___ pounds. Am I ready for a shoot?

Ah, such a fun question. I know how many of you feel, as I’ve gained a good 20 pounds in the last 5 years of marriage, without even having any kids yet!

I can’t presume to know for sure whether you’re emotionally ready to be photographed, but I DO believe you’re not as many pounds away as you might think.

With good clothing choices, expert posing and a little bit of Photoshop, it’s pretty manageable for me to shave 10-20 pounds (not to mention 5-10 years) from your frame and face, if you want me to. You’ll feel like a million bucks, yet you’ll still look completely like yourself for all the family and friends who will see your images.

I’m coming to believe that those 10-20 pounds and 5-10 years are something that only you see in the mirror anyway, so removing them in photos just allows you to see the beautiful woman your friends and family see all the time.

Are you actively in the process of losing weight? You might wait just a bit till you’re close to your goal. Or, having some beautiful photos of yourself might be just what you need at this stage…and who knows, it might help you see that you don’t need to lose more weight after all!

Whatever you choose, I would encourage you to learn to love the body you have now (it’s very possible that you aren’t really overweight anyway), and to even more broadly embrace the life you have now rather than living in the past or in some unguaranteed future.

It would be my honor to help you do this, by giving you photos that show you how lovely you are RIGHT NOW to those who love you most. Don’t just keep waiting, or you’ll never actually give them images that they will cherish even more than you will.

Yep, that’s a size-12 me pictured at right, 20 pounds of newlywed weight gain and all, as photographed by my mom-and-assistant to celebrate turning 30 in November. Take a look at a before-and-after photo of me over on my About page to see just how much the clothing, posing and Photoshop helps me out!

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The women I’m here for.

I’m here for…

The high-school senior who wants to finally see in herself the loveliness she’s always hoped was there.

The bride who wants to remember the feel of these radiant days forever.

The young momma who wants to look past the baby weight to that pretty girl she once knew.

The preteen’s mom who wants to show her media-bombarded daughter a glimpse of the beauty that shines from inside out…of them both.

The wife who wants some fabulous pictures to spice things up again.

And I’m here for…

The grown daughter who wants her mother to realize that her kids treasure her every feature…and that she’s still got it.

The woman who wants her sister to finally perceive what she’s known of her all their lives.

The friend who wants the women she shares her life with to spend a day creating visual keepsakes of their bond.

The grandmother who wants to capture the generations of beauty she helped create and nurture.

I’m here for…

The soccer mom. The divorcee. The cancer survivor. The triathlete.

The nervous. The excited. The uncertain. The hopeful.

Women, I’m here for you.

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A few thoughts on the female portrait

For many of us girls, our senior pictures, if we had them done, were our first professional portraits since babyhood where the focus was completely on us and the goal was to show our most lovely selves.

It was a long time to wait with a lot of pressure on one shoot, and some of us were even a bit disappointed in them, whether because of the photographer or the particular day (or year!) we were having.

Then after that, it was our engagement and bridal photographs that would show the beautiful woman we had become. And maybe some maternity photos to show another glow-y stage of our womanhood.

But what if we haven’t had engagement, bridal or maternity photos? Or what if it’s been a few years since we had them? If we have kids, the focus (of our time, attention and cameras) shifts to them. If we’re a businesswoman, maybe we’ve gotten a studio headshot, but that’s about it.

Is that really enough?

It’s possible that for many of us females, our life is going by with only a few select years of our beauty documented and celebrated with carefully crafted, even glamorous, images that help us see, remember and share how lovely we are, inside and out. And if you’re like me and many of the women I know, you can always use more affirmation of how distinctively pretty you are.

So what if you had someone you could trust to regularly capture your ever-changing loveliness in a series of images you and your loved ones could enjoy for a lifetime (including, and most importantly, on those “ugly” days or weeks)? What if your girlfriends, sisters, mother and even grandmother had that?

What if your daughter could start early and feel beautiful going into her teen years, even as you set an example for her by embracing your own deep beauty? What if you could have more photographs with these beloved women? Couldn’t that be really wonderful?

If you think it could be, it’s my hope that you’ll take a look through my portrait portfolio and FAQs and consider beginning a relationship with me so I can do just that. It would be my honor and joy, I promise.

P.S. I’m not at all discounting the importance of senior pictures, engagement photos, business headshots or maternity portraiture. If that’s what you need right now, I’m here for you, too!

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Holiday SALE—Photo shoot/makeover gift set for $159!

UPDATE: The Black Friday/Cyber Monday super sale is over, so the Aveda lotions are no longer included in the gift set. 

Does your holiday gift-buying list have a special woman who would love some TLC—or could you use some yourself? Do you wish your mom, wife, daughter, sister or best friend could finally see herself as the beautiful woman she is to you?

If so, my Pampered & Posed holiday portrait set might be just the gift you’re looking for—it’s a photo shoot, double makeover, and $50 credit toward purchase of prints and other products. and THROUGH MONDAY ONLY, an Aveda Relief-to-Go lotion set, all wrapped in a beautiful bag. Total value for this set is $225 nearly $250, but snatch one up this month for $159!

Only 30 sets will be sold, so don’t wait!

Ready to buy now? Just choose the package with the desired amount of print credit:

$159 portrait set including $50 print credit 

$249 portrait set including $150 print credit 

$339 portrait set including $250 print credit 

Want more info first? Well, the Pampered & Posed portrait set features a beautifully printed gift voucher.

This voucher is good for a 2-hour photo shoot* with me in my natural-light studio in Wichita, preceded by a double makeover—professional makeup and hair styling for TWO women—at the fabulous Pure Salon and Spa in Old Town.

Tell her she can bring her mom, daughter, sister or friend (maybe you?), and she can even have the rest of her family join her at the end of the shoot for some portraits she’s sure to cherish forever!

The gift voucher also starts her at $50 print credit, enough for her to choose two favorite images to enjoy as both a desk print and a low-resolution file for sharing digitally.

Want to give her even more? Pre-purchase $100 or $200 of additional print credit for her at 10% off, so she can have even more of her images to display and share!

And that’s not all! (Sorry, always wanted to say that…) Purchase this gift set during Thanksgiving weekend, and Pure Salon and Spa will also include their beautifully packaged Aveda Relief-to-Go lotions for both hands and feet.

Ready to get one of only 30 sets available?

Just choose the Pampered and Posed portrait package with the desired amount of print credit:

$159 portrait set including $50 print credit 

$249 portrait set including $150 print credit 

$339 portrait set including $250 print credit 

How will you get it in your hands? Within 48 hours of purchase, you’ll be able to pick up your gift voucher from our friends at Pure Salon and Spa, located at 313 N. Mead in Old Town. BONUS! Sets including the Aveda lotion will be nicely packaged for you in an unbranded holiday gift bag, so your gift-buying job is complete!

Got any questions? Check out my photography rates and FAQS, or get in touch to chat with me personally! Happy Holidays!

*Pampered & Posed holiday portrait sets must be purchased by Monday, Dec. 31. Limited quantities are available. Portrait set recipients must schedule their photo shoot to occur on or before April 30, 2013, and must be able to travel to Wichita for the shoot. Photo shoots, salon stylings, and print credit are not redeemable for their cash value, and salon stylings can only be used on the day of the photo shoot. All prices are subject to Kansas sales tax for state residents, and are subject to change at any time. 

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Black Friday GIVEAWAY! Win my holiday Pampered and Posed set AND photo album—$500 value!

UPDATE: This contest is over. Congratulations to the winner, Pauletta Rouse! Everyone else can purchase the Pampered & Posed holiday portrait set here, with the Aveda lotion set through Cyber Monday.

Does your holiday gift-buying list have a special woman who would love some TLC—or could you use some yourself? Do you wish your mom, wife, daughter, sister or best friend could finally see herself as the beautiful woman she is to you?

If so, my Pampered & Posed holiday portrait set for $159 might be just the gift you’re looking for—AND if you enter my GIVEAWAY* this week, you could win it on Black Friday before the sale even starts!

The Pampered & Posed portrait set starts with a beautifully printed gift voucher.

This voucher is good for a 2-hour photo shoot** with me in my natural-light studio in Wichita, preceded by a double makeover—professional makeup and hair styling for TWO women—at the fabulous Pure Salon and Spa in Old Town.

Tell her she can bring her mom, daughter, sister or friend (maybe you?), and she can even have the rest of her family join her at the end of the shoot for some portraits she’s sure to cherish forever!

The gift voucher also gives her $50 print credit, enough for her to choose two favorite images to enjoy as both a desk print and a low-resolution file for sharing digitally.

Want to give her even more? Pre-purchase $100 or $200 of additional print credit for her at 10% off, so she can have even more of her images to display and share!

And that’s not all! (Sorry, always wanted to say that…) Purchase this gift set during Thanksgiving weekend, and Pure Salon and Spa will also include their beautifully packaged Aveda Relief-to-Go lotions for both hands and feet.

In addition to the Pampered & Posed portrait set, the winner of the Black Friday giveaway will also receive my $250 accordion album—a gorgeous 4×6 book featuring 10 of her images, perfect for either upright display or a private gift for a husband.

So, how can you enter the giveaway to win this amazing gift? It’s pretty simple.

To enter, just do TWO things:

  • First, leave a comment on this blog post, telling me one thing you LOVE about the woman who’ll receive this set if you win it—even if that woman is you! You don’t have to say who she is, if you want to be sure she’ll be surprised to get it.
  • Second, copy and paste the following into your Facebook*** status bar or Twitter feed (you can change up the wording if you want!): Win a makeover and photo shoot for a woman in your life! http://bit.ly/XilxVX

Entries must be submitted by 8 a.m. CST Friday, Nov. 23. I’ll randomly draw the winner’s name at that time, and the winner will be announced and notified that morning.

Everyone else will then have the opportunity to buy the Pampered & Posed portrait set (photo shoot, double makeover and $50 print credit) for $159 (total value nearly $250), complete with the Aveda lotion set if purchased by the end of Monday, Nov. 26. Premium sets with $100 and $200 in additional print credit will also be available for $249 and $339 respectively.

Ready to buy now? Just choose the package with the desired amount of print credit:

$159 portrait set with $50 print credit 

$249 portrait set with $150 print credit 

$339 portrait set with $250 print credit 

How will you get it in your hands? Starting Saturday, Dec. 1, you’ll be able to pick up your portrait set from our friends at Pure Salon and Spa, located at 313 N. Mead in Old Town. BONUS! It will be nicely packaged for you in an unbranded holiday gift bag, so your gift-buying job is complete!

So, post your loving comment to get your giveaway entry started. Once you’ve updated your Facebook or Twitter status with that link to complete your entry, take a peek at my gallery, rates and FAQs page for a little more info about the experience you’ve entered to win.

Got any questions? Ask me in your comment or get in touch for a more private conversation. I’d love to chat with you!

*OK, here’s a little fine print. Relatives of Laura Rhoades and of the staff of Pure Salon and Spa are not eligible to enter the giveaway. Winner will be notified through the email address provided when his or her blog comment was posted. These email addresses may be used to contact participants with additional offers in the future, but participants may unsubscribe from these messages at any time.

**Pampered & Posed holiday portrait sets must be purchased by Friday, Dec. 21, with pickup completed by Saturday, Dec. 22. Limited quantities are available. Portrait set recipients must schedule their photo shoot to occur on or before April 30, 2013, and must be able to travel to Wichita for the shoot. Photo shoots, salon stylings, and print credit are not redeemable for their cash value, and salon stylings can only be used on the day of the photo shoot. All prices are subject to Kansas sales tax for state residents, and are subject to change at any time. 

***Participants who don’t wish to use Facebook may share the post link with one or more individuals through email or another means of their choice. All participants release Facebook from any responsibility for giveaway results and acknowledge that this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

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Stephanie Writebol - Hands down I would LOVE to give this to my mom. My mom is a beautiful lady inside and out – she was a model and example to me growing up of what real beauty is. She taught me that beauty isn’t measured by the standard’s of the world, but having a heart like that of Christ. Her heart of one of giving so much to others – I would love to give her something special for her – that would capture the beauty that I see in her all the time. Psalm 34:5 says, “Those who look to him are radiant” – - my mom radiates the beauty of Christ! And for those reasons – I LOVE her with all my heart.

Emily Goddard - I would love to give this to my friend who is expecting. I know she would never purchase maternity portraits for herself but would love to have the pictures to cherish for years to come.

Alicia - To be able to win this gift for my friend would be AMAZING. She has been the sister I never had in my life, and she touches so many people’s lives with just her presence and her heart. She is beautiful but doesn’t see it for herself. It’s hard to convince her because she had a difficult upbringing. She deserves something like this, in hopes that she would be able to finally see what a woman she is.

Rebecca Hofer - If I would win this gift I would give it to a girl in my life who always gives and never thinks about herself. Life has been hard on her at times, and yet she has such a heart for God and for children with special needs. She is beautiful inside and out, for example she almost dropped out of school to help a loved one in need. WOW.

Brenda Bartel - It may sound selfish, but I would love to win this for ME! I turned 50 this year – an exciting and satisfying milestone. I was afraid of that number, but considering some traumatic events I’ve experienced and how I’ve grown in just the last few years, I’d like to mark it in a special way. I want to celebrate being alive, being able to be a better mom to my daughters, being able to wait for God to show me his purpose in bringing me through the troubled times.
Since we can bring a friend, it would be Andrea. She has been supportive and caring through many changes in our family. She could use a bit of pampering! And a great photo of me with my girls would be priceless :)

Veronica Baker - My best friend is way more than I could ask for in a friend. She doesn’t realize how beautiful she is, and how much she does for others. She is always trying to find ways to make life easier for others whether that is financially, cooking food, giving advice, or just making time for others. I would give this package to her (if I win!) :-) to show her that she IS gorgeous and a cherished friend. Maybe it could even turn into a mini family shoot! Who knows!

Hannah Boese - I would absolutely LOVE to give this to my mom. I’ve never done anything for her and I feel like now that I’m growing up, I need to start giving back. My mom has always been my best friend. She’s there for me when I need her and gives the best advice. It would be awesome to give this to her.

Gillian - I would LOVE to give this to my mom. She’d have a blast! She is such a beautiful lady…this would help her feel like it! :) I know she’d love to get some updated pictures of her with her mom and sisters or maybe her daughters ;)

Elizabeth Colflesh - Honestly I would love to win this for myself! I have a 3 year old and a 5 month old and rarely get to pamper myself. I would also love to bring my sisters and get some pictures for my mom who has been wanting a picture of us together for several years. We are so grateful for her and she would love it so much!

Kaylene - I’d really be thankful if I won this. I’m usually so busy taking photos of everyone else. I’ve lost a significant amount of weight this past year. It would be wonderful to have new photos that reflect that.

Hannah Yowell - I would love to win the photo shoot for my mom! She does so much for our family and I know she doesn’t hear “thank you” as often as she deserves. She rarely ever does anything for herself and I would love to give her this opportunity. This would be such a treat for her!

Suz - Honestly, I would like to enter for myself. My oldest daughter is always threatening to put me onto What Not To Wear, no so much for the clothing (although that would be lovely, but for the makeover portion. I am turning 45 in a few months and this would be a nice way for me to feel not so almost 45. :O)

Shari Morford - Sounds like a wonderful day of fun and primping and celebrating this season of my life. So thankful for all God has given! And….even if I don’t win, I know that whoever does will be blessed by it!

Julie - If I won this I would give it to a good friend. She does so much and doesn’t mind getting less in return. She would never think of doing this and it would be something I know she would treasure.

Angie Regier - Can I give my husband a boudua (however you spell that) session ? HA! I probably would win this for a friend who is a fantastic mother and deserves some pampering!

Kayla - I am entering for my mom, who has an undiagnosed fear of cameras. She just had reconstructive surgery after losing one breast to cancer. It’s been a hard battle, and she’s still going through it – the cancer took a brief hiatus after the mastectomy only to return, this time in her lower back where it now stubbornly stays. Reconstructive was a big deal for mom. All she has wanted through this whole mess is to have things be normal again. In her body and in her life. She is a freaking warrior in how she’s carried it all. It’s so weird – her self-esteem in dealing with the toll it’s taken on her body is astonishing to me – yet she shies away from any photographic documentation of herself at this stage. What I want is simply this: to show her that I, and the rest of my family, think that she is pretty. I mean, blah blah blah, she’s beautiful inside and out – yes, so true, but people say this so much that its effectiveness has become a mindless echo. I want her to know that I think she is pretty – like, superficially, eye-catchingly, I-want-to-look-like-you-when-I-grow-up-crow’s-feet-and-all kind of pretty.

Wow, novel. Sorry. Anyway, Mom deserves to know she’s a pretty woman. And to feel like it. That’s why I’m entering for her.

Alanea Endsley - I have been thinking for awhile about purchasing a makeover for my mom and a photo shoot. My mom hates to have her picture taken as she always says she looks horrible. I’ve been wanting a nice professional photo of her for years as when my grandmother died, my mom had a beautiful professional photo of her that was framed that she hung by her chair and looked at everyday. She said that is what helped her get through her mother’s death. I desperately want to have a photo of my mom so one day when she is gone (and even before that) I can put her photo next to my reading chair and always be able to look at her.

Janie Michaelson - I would like to nominate my mom. She is by far the most selfless, beautiful, and loving person I have ever met in my life. She never asks for anything, but is always the first one to volunteer if we need something. Since my brother and I were kids, I can never remember a time when she has done anything special for herself, unless we forced her to- and in those instances, I basically had to drag her (though she immensely enjoyed it when she was there). She deserves to be recognized for everything she has done for others, and have something nice for herself.

Amy Birdsell - I would love to win this for my mom. She does so much for our family and doesn’t always get the recognition she deserves. It would be a great chance to do a mother/daughter day and show her how much she is appreciated and LOVED!

Bethany - I’d love to win this for my momma. She’s an awesome woman of faith who sacrificially stayed at home to school her children through high school. She now is working for a Christian non-profit and it’s been a super difficult job for the past few months. But she stays with it because her heart is for the Lord and His work… then she comes home and still gives her time sacrificially to her kids and grandkids. Love her!

Andrea - I would love to win this for my mom. She’s been so gracious to let my sister and I feel beautiful with professional pictures but SHE is such a beautiful woman herself. I’d love for her to have the chance to feel pampered in this way. She’s a woman of the Lord who is funny, encouraging and creative. I’m inspired by her everyday and would love to reward her with this lasting gift. I can’t think of anything she’d like more!

CHAD - I would love for my wife to win this. She is an amazing woman who has had to endure a lot over the past few months with elusive pains, aches, dizziness. She faced down the possibility of having MS with strength and calm. Luckily we found that she doesn’t have MS but she still is struggling with all these symptoms. During this time she continued to focus on God, taking care of our children and honoring her responsibilities at church. She has also taken postive steps to being more healthy and lost 40 lbs! Being a one income family she has had to be very creative over the past year to try and stay within budget. She is very frugal and goes without so we can all do more. She is more beautiful than she knows and I would love to have a physical reminder of this with an awesome photo shoot by the talented Laura Rhoades!

Theresa Murdick - It would be awesome to surprise my friend, a mother of 4 with an awesome heart.

Ginny - I would absolutely gift this to my Mom. I believe EVERY mom (young or old, birth, adoptive or foster) deserves something like this, but I’d love to see MY favorite Momma blessed with a pamper and shoot. ;)

Kassie - This would be a great gift for one of my best friends. She had a baby about six months ago and I think this would make a perfect gift!

Sherri - I would love to win this for myself. I turn 57 in March of 2013 & Im feeling pretty darn old. My 2 kids have almost no pictures of me cause I was always the one taking the pictures, so it would be a nice surprise for them too. I would bring my friend, Joyce, who thinks she is not very photogenic, & it looks like Laura does really great work.

Dana - I would like to enter myself. I would greatly appreciate giving this gift to my family since we will not really be doing other Christmas presents this year. I would bring my family along at the end so we could have a family Christmas portrait. :)

Mary - I am entering myself and would bring my daughter (Dainty Daughter Dana) who is a wonderful daughter. It would be fun for us to have pictures together and I could get extras of the family. Those 2 beautiful granddaughters are growing up very quickly.

I have admired your work especially the photos you have done of your mom.

Pauletta Rouse - I would love to win this for my daughter-in-love Sarah. She was very disappointed in the photo’s from her wedding and wishes she had known you at the time.
Love the ones you took of me.

Jeremy Writebol - This is for my wonderful wife Steph. More than anything she has been an instrument of grace in my life. I love her smile, her friendship and her giving heart.

Kristi Daniels - There is a very special mom l would love to win this for. I’m a amazed by her.

Signature products: 8×10 sets, 5×7 sets and accordion albums

Alright, you’ve had your fantastically fun double makeover and photo shoot, and we’re sitting at your private viewing session, oohing and ahhing over your gorgeous photos. What are your options for enjoying these images in the years to come?

Well, you’re always free to order traditional gift prints and wall prints a la carte, with no minimum purchase requirements, starting at $25 per image.

Or, you can choose one of these signature products and add $10 gift print sets of all selected images.

First off, introducing the 8×10 set

My amped-up 8×10 is my favorite way for you to enjoy your most beloved images. With each matted or mounted 8×10 print of a single image, you also get a high-resolution file with printing rights and $10 gift print sets of that image. Buy a set of 5 or more 8x10s, and get them in a beautiful handmade bag.

If the 8x10s are a little too big for you, and you’d instead like to have more images for your money, you can choose my next signature product, the 5×7 set.

This set offers your 20 favorite images as mounted 5×7 prints….

…packaged in a keepsake box with either a leather, fabric or gorgeous custom cover.

With this signature product, you can also add an Animoto slideshow on DVD, perfect for showing at a graduation party, and you’ll get $10 gift print sets and 20% off wall prints of the selected images.

Both the 8×10 sets and the 5×7 set come with discounts of at least 50% off on my final signature product, the accordion album.

Available as a single 4×6 album or a set of 3 wallet-sized minis, the accordion album is perfect for moms and grandmas who want to share precious images on the go, or for a husband who wants a private album for his eyes only. You also get $10 gift prints and 20% off wall prints of the included images.

Each album contains up to 14 images on the front and back.

Don’t forget: Any image you order in ANY printed form also comes as a tablet-sized low-res file for sharing and storing digitally!

Most clients can expect to spend $500 to $2,000 total after purchase of their custom portrait products.

Get in touch today for your free consultation over coffee so we can walk through the full price list together and you can see these beautiful products in person!

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