Sheila Pack Photography: Blog en-us (C) Sheila Pack Photography (Sheila Pack Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:42:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:42:00 GMT Sheila Pack Photography: Blog 90 120 Rachel and Max's Christmas wedding! Wearing an heirloom family wedding gown, beautiful Rachel was all smiles as she and handsome Max exchanged their vows in their beautifully decorated church.  The site of her parents' wedding a generation back, this classic sanctuary holds a lot of meaning for these two blissfully happy newlyweds.

Here are a few highlights from their wedding, enjoy! image 001image 001 image 003image 003 image 008image 008 image 011image 011 image 013image 013 image 015image 015 image 016image 016 image 022image 022 image 025image 025 image 027image 027 image 038image 038 image 039image 039 image 041image 041 image 043image 043 image 054image 054 image 064image 064 image 085image 085 image 086image 086 image 093image 093 image 125image 125 image 140image 140 image 143image 143 image 154image 154 image 159image 159 image 160image 160 image 219image 219 !

image 227image 227

(Sheila Pack Photography) Mon, 05 Jan 2015 05:45:22 GMT
Why I've chosen to be a wedding photographer. I recently received an email from a business associate, who had been contacted by a mother of the bride in a very real panic.  Her arrangements for  a photographer for her daughter's wedding had fallen through TWICE, and she was reaching out for advice.  Names have been changed, obviously.

Mrs. Mom found a photographer, but hadn't put down a retainer to hold the date. Photographer #1 subsequently booked another wedding, and was no longer available.  Mrs. Mom realized too late that the information regarding reserving the date was noted in the information packet received from Photographer #1. Okay, on to find a photographer, with the wedding date only a few months off.

In conversing about her dilemma with one of the ladies who had been lined up to help serve the food at the reception, she learned of a possible solution. Photographer #2 was definitely not a professional, but 'had a nice camera' and was willing to get paid to take pictures instead of serving food.  Mrs. Mom tried to find out the identity of Hobby Photographer to talk with them, to find out pricing etc., but their response, through the mutual acquaintance, was 'Find out what they want to pay and I'll let you know.'  They did reiterate that they did not have 'the big cameras' and that they'd taken photos only as a hobby.  So, despite her chagrin at not being able to talk to Hobby Photographer directly, Mrs. Mom offered them $125 for the day's services, starting before the brief ceremony, and throughout the small reception, which worked out to about $40 per hour, according to Mrs. Mom's calculation. Hobby Photographer would then give Mrs. Mom the digital files, to do whatever she needed with them.

Hobby Photographer responded (through the mutual acquaintance) that she was not available to take pictures for that amount, and Mrs. Mom was again in panic mode.  This is when she reached out to my colleague, wondering what in the world she had done wrong.  Said colleague was bowled over by the entire scenario, and while being sensitive to the urgency of the situation (the wedding was now two weeks away)  made a real effort to answer the questions posed. Mrs. Mom realized that Hobby Photographer was put off by her offer, but didn't understand why. She thought that $40 per hour was pretty good pay for someone to 'just take a few pictures'. 

Wow.  Had to let that one sink in for awhile.  I don't know what the final outcome was for Mrs. Mom. I hope that she found someone to take pictures for her daughter's wedding, and I truly hope they were okay with whatever the results were.  But it really got me to thinking... why would she be so willing to let someone completely unqualified take pictures on one of the most important days of her daughter's life?

Now, I understand that pictures are not as important to everyone as they are to me, personally, and I have to respect that.  I don't understand it, but I respect it. Maybe their memory is better than mine.  Maybe they're just not as sentimental as I am.  I take pictures to preserve my memories, and the emotions accompanying the important and non-important events in my life.  And, of course, I take pictures to document the important times in the lives of my clients... and am honored to do so.  I do it because it's something that I'm pretty good at, and also because it's a way to help pay my bills.  Everyone has to earn a living, and to be able to create beautiful photographs and be paid a fair wage for my creative work is a good thing, for me, for my household budget, and for my clients.  I'll never be rich doing it, and that's okay.  But I do have a 'happy price', and if someone isn't willing to pay me enough to make it worthwhile, I'm happy to stay home with my family.

It's not an easy job.  No, it's not ditch-digging hard, but it is long hours of standing and being ever at the ready to capture those fleeting moments that occur throughout the wedding day, and reception night.  It's several hours of preparation before the event, and approximately 40 to 80 hours afterwards, editing and polishing the results to get them ready for the wedding couple.  It's investing easily tens of thousands of dollars in quality equipment (and backup equipment) and years of experience and continuing education to stay in touch with new technology and trends in photography in general, and weddings in particular.  It's also missing family picnics, social gatherings, and turning down other events because I have a wedding booked that day.  (But I knew that going in. It's part of the job.)

And, I think MOST of all, it's having an eye for capturing emotion.  The tears glistening in a mom's eyes as she gazes at this beautiful young woman, who was an infant, a toddler, a mischievous little girl just months ago (it seems) and now is a stunning bride-to-be.  The pride on the face of her Dad as he walks her down the aisle, choking back tears as he gives his precious daughter to this young man. You just know that he is hoping that her new husband will protect her tender heart with every bit of devotion that he has carried for her all of her life.  The love in a couple's face as they gaze at one another with great love, great hope, and great anticipation for their future together.

Anybody can buy a camera, learn the nuts and bolts of photography, and go to endless seminars, trade shows, and bridal fairs.  These things can be purchased or learned.  Honestly, I believe that what makes the difference between a decent photographer, and a really GOOD photographer, is having that gift of seeing the emotion, and capturing it in the photos.

This is why you hire me, or another professional.  Because your memories ARE precious.  Because you ARE sentimental, and want to keep those emotions and memories fresh.  Because, you want to be able to show your friends, your children, your grandchildren, the wonderful love you felt for each other on the important day that you joined your lives together forever. 


And THAT is why I've chosen to be a wedding photographer.




(Sheila Pack Photography) Wed, 24 Sep 2014 01:54:23 GMT
Another lovely Senior ~ Nicole! Met Nicole and her family at one of my favorite locations for senior portrait sessions, and we had a great time talking, walking around, and, of course, taking lots of photos!  Nicole's Mom, Jennifer, booked a larger package so that we could incorporate a selection of family group photos into the mix, since it had been awhile since they'd had family photos done. Here's a quick shot of Nicole's rep card, which she can share with friends looking for photography services.  If someone books a session with me and presents this card, both they and Nicole will receive a dozen wallet prints, as a 'thank you' for helping my business grow!


  rep card Nicolerep card Nicole



(Sheila Pack Photography) Mon, 08 Sep 2014 13:15:57 GMT
Recent Senior session ~ Savannah         rep-card-Savannaghrep-card-Savannagh

Recently had the pleasure of photographing the daughter of a gal (Amy) whose wedding I shot a couple of decades ago!  Yes, I've been doing this a LONG time, hahaha!  Amy and her husband now have four great kids, and so far I've done senior portrait sessions with two of them.  What a terrific experience! Here's the montage I created for Savannah.  With the additional text added at the bottom, it also serves as a 'rep card' which she can give to friends looking for a photographer for their own senior portrait sessions.  When they book a session, both Savannah AND her friend get a dozen wallets!  Great for them, and great for me, because it brings me more nice people with whom to work. 



(Sheila Pack Photography) Mon, 08 Sep 2014 13:14:30 GMT
Lakeside visit with daughter Mandi Mandi and I recently had a few days off in a row which coincided, and wanted to do something special with the time.  After a little brainstorming, we decided to visit Lakeside, Ohio, the site of many happy childhood memories.  Mandi reminded me that's where she learned to ride her bike (which I had completely forgotten, how is that possible?).

We made arrangements for a place to stay for a couple of nights, called Aunt June to see if she would be in town so that we could visit for a little while, and eagerly anticipated seeing how much (or how little) Lakeside had changed from so many years ago.  

For anyone not familiar, Lakeside is a gated community of mostly summer cottages, which means visitors and homeowners alike purchase tickets or passes to get in and out of the "Pearly Gates" during the summer season.  If you have a vehicle, that also requires a pass. There are passes for a day, a week, or the full season, which, if memory serves, runs roughly from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  We each needed a day pass, and of course a car pass.  Some owners have insulated and otherwise 'winterized' their cottages, so they can visit year round, or, if they are particularly hardy folk, could stay throughout the winter.  (Not many do.)  Lakeside is also a Chataqua, which, as far as I have been able to figure out, means that it's overseen or managed by a church or group of churches.  It is a decidedly friendly and family-oriented place.  After finding a spot to park the car, we made our way several blocks towards the shops, thoroughly enjoying looking at all the cottages, greeting anyone we met, and petting the occasional dog or cat we encountered. One of the friendliest adult cats I've EVER seen crossed the street to meet us, began purring immediately, and provided us with maybe fifteen or twenty minutes of her quality kitty affection.  It was pretty amazing.  DSC_3375-crop-web

We eventually passed the dock, the playground (where the equipment is far more extensive than it was when my kids were kids), and the busy Putt-Putt golf course.  Then there were the legendary shuffleboard courts, with quite a few games in progress, and participants ranging from little children up to great-grandparents.  Shuffleboard is a game of skill, but it's enjoyable to play even when you don't have a prayer of winning, just because it's fun!


Of course, we had to check out 'Grandma's Cottage', which didn't look all that different than it did forty years ago.  The current owners have it painted soft yellow, and I think it was white in Grandma's day.  The tree she planted in the front has grown massively large, of course, and there's apparently some new project in the offing, judging by the brilliant blue tarp draped over the pile of 'something' at the base.  Many a lazy afternoon was spent by our family members on that screened-in porch, reading, playing board games, or just chatting. Sweet memories, indeed.  I'm sure the current owners enjoy the same tranquil pastimes, but now it's probably a little more electronic than in the past.  I couldn't help but wonder if it still smelled the same inside, a deliciously ancient combination of fireplace, beloved old books, and freshly baked 'whatever'.  


On the recommendation of a friendly local gal, we decided to check out the menu at the locally famous Lakeside Hotel, a lovely place decorated in Victorian furniture, and featuring a casually elegant dining room facing the lake.  I was a little worried that it might not be affordable on our budget, but it turned out that it was, and we enjoyed delicious salads for our late lunch.  Then we started walking back along the lake, where the ever-changing view calms the nerves and soothes the spirit.  Most everyone we met along the walkway said hello, which was very nice, and a bit unusual for Ohio.  (I was born in Alabama, and that's standard behavior there, at least in the small towns.) Below is a photo which is a duplicate of one I shot at least thirty years ago, and I'm pretty sure it's the same tree...  what a peaceful scene, with the gentle white-caps rolling in.


We gave Aunt June a call, making sure she was home, and she said she'd be home a little later.  Since we had some time to spare, we drove over to Andy's Party Mart, where for as long as anybody can remember, they've served the best hand-dipped ice cream cones IN THE WORLD.  We had to make sure that was still the case, of course!  And, indeed it was.  We sat on the bench outside, which has been there forever (as far as I know) and enjoyed our drippy delicious Toft's ice cream.  Great fun.  Now Toft's is available in Brunswick, but this was an experience not to be missed, just the same, because it was a childhood tradition for Mandi, and well worth repeating! We also bought some delicious fudge to bring back home & share.

When we arrived at June's condo, cousins Kelly and Chris were there, and Chris' wife Betsy, so it was an even better family visit than we had thought it was going to be.  I spotted a heron perched on the breakwall, and walked down to get a photo of him.  After he flew off and then returned a couple of times, with me clicking away, I reviewed the images in the camera and found this beauty!  Needless to say, I was tickled to have caught him silhouetted against the setting sun.


We stayed several hours, catching up with everyone, then started off for home.  We stopped for a sandwich at a local sports bar adjacent to one of the many marinas  (the name of which escapes me) and enjoyed our outdoor seating... just far enough from the music inside so that we could have a nice conversation.  There was a patron there with his beautiful Husky, and Mandi got in a little canine visitation with him, naturally!

All in all, it was a wonderful, relaxing time...   Mandi and I always seem to enjoy traveling together, whether it's across the state, across the country, or half way round the world (the week I spent in Germany with her last summer was the trip of a lifetime!)  Looking forward to the next opportunity, whenever it occurs!

(Sheila Pack Photography) Fri, 26 Jul 2013 15:22:14 GMT
saw this saying somewhere... such a simple truth! you miss 100% of When I saw this little saying, probably on Pinterest (that wondrous waster of time, feeder of insomniacs everywhere)  it made me stop and think.

It's such a simple truth, such an obvious thing...  but a powerful one, as well.  I love making photos, capturing precious little pieces of life with my cameras, so that you (or I) can hold them in hand, show friends, post on facebook or the twittersphere, or wherever you choose to stay in contact with your peeps.  The big events in our lives often are turned into beautiful albums, or hung on the walls of our homes. But the little events are important too... the kids learning to ride their bikes, playing in the sprinkler, making snowmen, waiting for the school bus... Your Mom as she bakes cupcakes, tries on a new dress, opens a birthday gift... your Dad as he washes the car, reads his Bible, or works in the garden.  These are the days you'll want to remember, as their sweetness grows even better ten, twenty, forty years down the road.  I have photos of my now-grown children, my parents, my brother, doing normal everyday things, that are so precious to me now, and at the time, I thought I was just practicing with my camera.  What I was actually doing was keeping their toothless baby smiles, their enjoyment of a day at the amusement park, their helpful attitude as they 'worked' alongside their Dad, a fresher memory for me, for them, for their children, and eventually their children's children.  A tiny little slice of time, preserved, to be enjoyed and shared again.

That is why we make pictures. To be able to come back to that memory, whether to share it with someone, or just to smile again, and relive that little moment.


(Sheila Pack Photography) Fri, 26 Jul 2013 14:06:38 GMT
Highlights of some of this year's seniors AVI senior slideshow for blog Senior portrait sessions should be fun, and can be as unique as each client wishes them to be! I've had students bring their boyfriend or girlfriend, their musical instrument, their dog and/or their horse, and various pieces of athletic equipment.  After all, every student's personality is individual and unique, so their senior portraits can be, too!  

I have a few time slots left for anyone who's running really late on getting your session in... and sessions for 2014 seniors will be available starting in August.  Hoping that next year's group of seniors are able to get their sessions in this summer or in the fall, and avoid the crazy time crunch this year has been.  Of course, sometimes it just works out that way, and that's okay.

Remember, if you give a rep card (supplied free of charge) to a friend, and they book a senior session with me, both you and the friend receive a dozen free wallets of your choice (up to three different images, as they come four of the same to a sheet).  If you're running out of rep cards, and need more, let me know, I'll get more to you.  It's a great way to help get the news out about my photography, and since nice people know other nice people, it brings me a terrific new group of clients!

Thank you again, everyone, for your business, I really appreciate it!

(Sheila Pack Photography) Tue, 21 May 2013 22:50:30 GMT
Aimee and Jake's Wedding at Grand Pacific Junction Wedding Chapel AVI aimee jake for blog This couple, along with both their families, were such a joy with whom to work!  This wedding was for Falls Family Photography Studio, in Grand Pacific Junction, reception at the Grand Pacific Hotel right down the street from the Chapel.  

(Sheila Pack Photography) Mon, 20 May 2013 20:29:29 GMT
Another Wedding Photographer said it so well, I wanted to share her blog post with you.  

Anne Almasy is an award-winning wedding photographer in Atlanta... and she puts her whole heart into her work.   Her blog post (below) truly resonated with me; we share many of the same perspectives!  

In what has become a quarterly ritual, I submitted a selection of wedding photos to a well-known wedding magazine. They were all weddings in beautiful locations, with gorgeous color and emotion and life and LOVE. I was so proud of each of them, and happy to share the stories I'd told through photographs for each couple.

A couple weeks after submitting, I got this reply: "These are all really pretty, but we want to see more details. More pictures of flowers, centerpieces, and any other details that really made these weddings special. Our Real Weddings section should give brides ideas for planning the perfect wedding."

And while I did provide additional detail photos, I also kept the original e-mail in my inbox, just... mulling it over.

See, wedding publications exist to feed the industry: the florists and the lighting designers and the calligraphers and the caterers and the photographers and the thousands upon thousands of couples who will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on their weddings. Magazines and blogs publish pictures of couples in lavish surroundings with immaculate decor, and vendors who can provide similar glitz and glam pay big bucks for full-page ads and featured banners. Many women (in particular) spend YEARS scouring these staples of wedding wisdom for the perfect dress, the perfect bouquet, the perfect cake... when they finally meet the perfect partner they'll be ready.

I've had my own work published in these magazines. I've been featured on wedding blogs. I've even paid to advertise with publications who "reach a bajilliondy high-end brides every month."

As I think back on the hundred-plus weddings I've photographed, I want to emphasize this:
Every wedding is perfect.

I love a good party.
I love a bride in the most elaborate, fancy, princess-y dress you've ever dreamed of.
I love custom chuppahs and embroidered aisle runners and matchy-matchy bridesmaids dresses.
I love to photograph flowers and shoes.

But you know why I REALLY do what I do?

To photograph your parents, who will hold hands and cry on the first row of the chapel. To photograph your sister dancing with that boy she will marry in three years. To photograph those kids who will grow up so, so quickly. To photograph your grandfather, who will pass away next spring. To photograph your first kiss as a married couple, your best friend busting out her signature dance moves, the flower girl asleep under a table, and maybe even your ex looking pretty wistful as he hugs you a little too long in the receiving line.

You already know: your cake will disappear in less than an hour, your flowers will wilt before the ceremony ends, and that uncomfortable tux will go back to the rental place in the morning. But those photos... they're gonna be there forever. You'll have them when your own kids are born, when you have the biggest fight ever with your partner and need to be reminded of how much you really love each other, when your parents pass away and you realize the last time you danced with them was at your wedding...

So, nothing against the wedding magazines and blogs and their endless, passionate quest for "perfect" detail shots. PLEASE: throw the party of your lives with every. single. detail. EXACTLY as you dreamed it would be.

But my job -- MY job -- is to see past all that. My job is to give you photos that will remind you why you had that damn expensive party in the first place.

If you're planning your wedding right now, please just close the magazine. Log out of Pinterest. And look at the person you want to grow old with. Remind yourself of why you're doing this. And really CELEBRATE when that day comes. Don't stress about your shoes or your cake or your flowers. Don't stress about anything. When it's all over, you will be married, and surrounded by the people who know you and love you most in the whole wide world.

I promise: that is the Perfect Wedding.



(Sheila Pack Photography) Tue, 26 Mar 2013 11:11:56 GMT
Another e-session in the works~ Here's a sample from the e-session with Aimee and Jake, with a little help from Promise, the horse.  We had fun, shooting at the barn where Promise is stabled, and thanks everyone, for making us welcome! If you'd like to see the rest of Aimee and Jake's e-session, go to and click on their names.  Enjoy!


(Sheila Pack Photography) Sun, 03 Mar 2013 00:13:45 GMT
Here's a Winter e-session! DSC_7993 With the winter weather assuring rosy cheeks, Pebbles came out and added her furry cuteness to Krystle and Jim's e-session.  It was chilly, so cuddling up was easy for them!

(Sheila Pack Photography) Sun, 03 Mar 2013 00:01:08 GMT
AND WE ARE LIVE! The wrappings are off...  the new website is now live!  After several weeks devoted to learning the new hosting company's interface (and all the inherent struggles that go along with that) we are up and running with Zenfolio. Many thanks to Beth Wheeler, who pointed me in this direction when I mentioned the ongoing troubles with the prior hosting company.  (Basically, it boiled down to the fact that they have drastically changed their business model, and the things that originally made them a good fit didn't exist any longer.)

What I was looking for was a more customizable product, and while I haven't figured out everything just yet, it's already a definite improvement.  And here's a fun fact:  I got to pick my accent color!  While a black background has always appealed to me because of the way it showcases the images, I love being able to have my text in turquoise.  It's the little things that make me happy...  :-)

(Sheila Pack Photography) Fri, 01 Mar 2013 14:06:30 GMT