Reflections by Rohne: Blog en-us (C) Reflections by Rohne (Reflections by Rohne) Fri, 15 Dec 2017 17:17:00 GMT Fri, 15 Dec 2017 17:17:00 GMT Reflections by Rohne: Blog 120 80 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Wedding Photographer

Bride Looking At MirrorReflections of LoveNervous Bride just before ceremony. We capture special moments throughout your wedding day.


Some moments are simply too important to trust to a camera phone or even an amateur with a fancy camera. Your wedding will be one of the most memorable times of your life and no one can capture it better than a professional photographer. So how do you find the right one? As you begin the interview process, here are ten questions to help you determine if you’ve found the best photographer for your wedding. Info provided from Our personal answers are either included in bold italics or with a link to another page.

1. Does the photographer have a gallery of wedding images you can review? (See our Wedding Gallery, the Slide Show on our Wedding Home Page and Sample Albums Page)

Reviewing sample work allows you to see the photographer’s strengths and weaknesses – don’t fool yourself, every photographer has them. You’ll also be able to get an idea of their style. Are they formal with an eye for the perfect picture or do they love to capture the hidden moments when no one is looking? Look for images that you can see yourself in. Think of three words that describe you and share those with your photographer. Every photographer has a style and reviewing their gallery can help you determine if theirs is right for you.

2. What is the photographer’s working style? (See our Photo Style Page)

Some photographers are orderly and operate like wedding planners. Others prefer to sit back and let the events of the wedding unfold. It’s important that you find someone who can understand and meet your expectations. Discuss this ahead of time and ask away, so that you understand how well the photographer’s working style matches your own.

3. Is the photographer available for an engagement session? 

An engagement session does more than provide you with priceless images together before you get married. It’s also your first opportunity to work with your photographer and develop a relationship that will allow you to be completely at ease on your big day. Use this session to confirm if the photographer is indeed the right person to capture your wedding. We require an engagement session with all our local couples, and those who will at least be local once before the wedding. It is as important for us as for you. If you are having a destination wedding or it is just cannot impossible to do a session before the wedding, we have online chats to try to get to know you before your wedding day.

4. Will the photographer create a detailed shot list?  (See Wedding Day Photo Timeline Page)

Lots of photographer create a list to ensure no important photo is missed during the commotion and excitement of the big day. We have you complete a planning form that includes the names of all the important people who will be at your wedding so that we can make sure we include them in appropriate kinds of photos rather than try to fit everyone into a certain styled photo. Instead we discuss with you the plans for the day and fit these images into the best times for them. You can add to the form all the way up to the day. Take an honest look at what people really matter and fill your photographer in on situations/relationships he or she might need to be aware of to prevent awkward moments, and to ensure that he or she can get the shots that matter most. And of course we're always available for spontaneous requests throughout your day. 

5. What kind of lighting will be used?  

Whether you have an indoor or outdoor wedding, you’ll want to make sure your photographer has professional grade lighting equipment to deliver the images your wedding deserves. We have multiple kinds of lighting equipment that we bring to every wedding because the lighting needs can vary so much from day to day and place to place.

6. Will there be one photographer or two?  (See Meet Your Photographers Page)

A second shooter increases the probability that no shot will be missed, especially if you are having a large wedding. If there will be two photographers, ask to meet them both to get a feel for their personalities and how well they might blend in on your big day. We at least try to have you meet both photographers at an engagement photo session, often more than that.

7. Does the photographer have backup equipment? 

You’ve prepared contingency plans for every other aspect of your wedding; your photographer should as well. A true professional photographer won’t miss your perfect shot because of a technology issue. We will always bring a backup camera, lenses, flashes, additional lighting equipment, extra memory cards, and batteries.

8. Does the photographer have liability insurance?

Accidents happen at weddings and if one of your guests trips over your photographer’s light stand, it’s good to know you both are protected. Your reception venue may even ask us as photographers to submit a certificate of liability ahead of time. Yeswe carry business liability insurance.

9. What will happen to the images after your wedding? 

Will your images be backed up to a hard drive or the cloud once processed? How long will your photographer keep the images afterward? Will they be kept for a couple of years or dumped immediately? If you have any concerns about losing your photos, knowing what the photographer plans to do with your images after your wedding is important. We double back up your images immediately. We keep your files basically forever. Should we decide not to, we would provide you them to you. We had a client come back to us 12 years after their wedding requesting a replacement album due to losing everything in a flood, and we were able to reproduce it almost exactly.

10. When will you get your photos? 

No, you won’t get your pictures the day after; no photographer can deliver that quickly. It’s a good idea, though, to get a general idea of the timeline ahead of time. You might even be able to agree on getting a couple of images ready for social media use very quickly. But obtaining your photos will likely take several weeks. To help with the wait, some photographers will send you a sneak peak with a few images. Just ask ahead of time! From us you can expect to see a sneak peak within 3-4 days. If you had a photo/video booth see the timeline. Your album layout will be completed within 3 weeks of your wedding, and at that time we will meet with you, show you all your images, and the album we have designed for you. If you love the album just as is, we can order it immediately and you will have it within a month. After this in studio preview, we post it all online and your family and friends can order images directly from there. If you need time to soak it in, ask for changes, and then okay the new designs, we give you 2-3 weeks. At the end of that time, we get your album ordered and it will be in your hands hopefully no more than 3 months after your wedding day. You may order prints and enlargements directly through us anytime you are ready. We leave your galleries on our website for one year. 


More questions, or ready to talk about your wedding needs? Contact us or text us at 616-881-2894.

]]> (Reflections by Rohne) grand rapids hire a photographer michigan michigan wedding photographer questions for a photographer reflections by rohne wedding photographers wedding photography Thu, 20 Jul 2017 02:42:43 GMT
Tips For Planning Your Wedding Photos Like A Pro Your wedding day is filled with once-in-a-lifetime moments that will go by in a blur—which is why hiring a professional wedding photographer is a must. You shouldn’t be worrying about is whether your photographer will be able to capture your big day, or worse, wake up a few days later to find out most of your photos have something wrong with them.

Professional Photographers of America says,

"The solution for this, know how to accurately evaluate the “right” photographer for you. Here are six tips to help you plan your wedding photos like a pro." (Answers specific to Reflections by Rohne are in bold italics.)

1. Book far in advance.

Engaged couple walking in vineyard.Love in the VineyardOur engagement sessions are in locations of your choice. We capture the essence and character of your relationship. The best photographers get booked quickly — sometimes a year or more in advance, so don’t wait until a few months before the wedding to book your photographer. We usually fill June, August and October very early.

2. Be willing to pay a professional fee.

Now is not the time to skimp on your photo budget. Call around and get a price range for services and remember: when the cake is long gone and the dress is stored away, your wedding photos will be the only thing left. All of our packages are a great value, and the most popular range in price from only $2500 to $4000. 

Bride and Groom on couch at Peaches Inn Bed and BreakfastRelaxed LoveCouple enjoying quiet moment in the midst of our Romance Session. 3. Make sure your photographer is a real pro.

Only hire someone who has experience taking the style of photos you want, liability insurance, backup equipment and knows what to do when things go south. Find a PPA (Professional Photographers of America) photographer. PPA photographers have the technical expertise and artistry to make you look your best and bring your vision to life. Connie is not only a member of PPA, but has a Bachelor's degree in Photography from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Kathy, our second shooter for weddings, also has a bachelors in photography. 

4. Request to see a full gallery of real weddings.

Meet at the Mission Meet at the Mission Wedding couple outside Mission San Buenaventura at destination wedding. We artistically capture your relationship and the details of your surroundings. Ask to view some entire wedding albums to see a photographer’s true style and get a sense of how he or she might tell your “story.” You are seeing our images on all the pages you visit, but check out our wedding gallery also.

5. Work with your photographer to create a detailed plan.

PPA wedding photographers can also help you create that shot list as they know what key moments tell a wedding story. But talk about your must-haves and walk through the entire program with your photographer ahead of time. Work together to understand one another’s needs and expectations ahead of time to ensure that your vision becomes a reality. Check out these other blogs for specific information about how we work with you. Wedding Day Timeline, Questions to Ask Wedding Your Photographer

Wedding on the WaterWedding on the WaterSpring Lake Wedding Party. We look for creative places to get fun and unique images of your wedding day. 6. Plan your post-wedding photo strategy… ahead of time!

Almost as soon as the festivities are over, you’ll be eager to look at the photos so you can relive your big day over and over again. Ask your photographer for teasers or a “sneak peek,” and a timeline for when the rest of the pictures will be available. Make sure you know how their post processing procedure works. Check out this other blog for specific information about how we work with you. Questions to Ask Wedding Your Photographer

Contact Us Now to discuss your wedding needs

]]> (Reflections by Rohne) grand rapids wedding photographer reflections by rohne wedding planning wedding tips Thu, 20 Jul 2017 02:42:28 GMT
Step Out of the Wedding Box! Outside the Wedding Box

I love weddings! They are all unique and each couple's story is amazingly different. We encourage our couples to step outside the wedding box. Think of places, activities, ideas that would tell something about your story, show your interests, display your characters and personalities. But sadly, when it comes to wedding photography, most couples just assume that the images should look a certain way, should be taken in traditional locations, and include traditional poses. And that is what they settle for.

Here's a non-traditional couple who opted for some very non-traditional wedding images. I've never had more fun doing wedding images than with them! She's a photographer (friend) and he's an avid fisherman. They also love hiking in the desert. Wanna' see more? Click here.

If you live in West Michigan you don't even have to have a destination wedding to find amazing locations for images. All you have to do is plan an extra few hours into your wedding plans to get some amazing images. This can be done the day of your wedding, or even better, the day before or after. Day of can run into your wedding festivity timeline, but day before or after provides a relaxed time-frame for creativity and fun!

Here's some examples of outside the box images:  Barefoot and beautiful!


Got some fun ideas you'd like to incorporate into your wedding portraits? 

Step outside the wedding box, and let us get creative for you.


]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Michigan Photography Portraits Reflections by Rohne Storytelling West Michigan photography wedding planning wedding tips Mon, 15 Aug 2016 17:14:18 GMT
Wedding Budget Blues PLANNING FOR YOUR WEDDING? Here's an

important tip to avoid the blues.....

Create a realistic budget and stick to it! 

Love in my eyesLove in my eyesWedding Couple close up Every bride wants her wedding day to be the fulfillment of all her dreams. However our dreams often look very expensive. Never forget this important fact. The reason you are having a wedding is because you love each other and want to spend your lives together. No matter what your wedding is like, the end result will be that you are married and starting your life journey together.

Having said that, let me repeat, our dreams often look very expensive, but they don't have to be. You can find creative ways to make your budget stretch or to tastefully mimic expensive ideas you like. BUDGET...that is an important word in planning a wedding. You need to figure out before you starting spending on your wedding what is reasonable for you (and your family or whomever else will be helping you pay for it) and then stick to that amount. 

How do you determine what you need to spend on your wedding? Here are several expenses you will have and some ways to save:

  • Love In Your EyesLove In Your Eyes Bridal Gown Purchase a floor sample or discontinued style. Consider a purchase online--if the seller is reputable. If you have a great seamstress with plenty of experience, consider having it made. It will be a one of a kind dress, so unless it is simple, it could cost more than a store purchase. If you buy at a store, alterations are much less expensive from a seamstress who doesn't work for a store. Remember all the accessories in your costs: veil, undergarments, slip/hoop petticoat, shoes, etc. 
  • Groom's tux, suit or clothes and accessories. Get a free rental with the rental of groomsmen tuxes. Purchase a suit that can be used later. A casual wedding requires much less expensive clothing choices.
  • Wedding Venue and Reception Venue. Having a church wedding? Does the church have a great reception location? Consider reception venues where you can cut costs by using their caterer, baker, etc. 
  • Wedding Cake & GownWedding Cake & Gown Wedding Cake. Ask around. There are excellent cake decorators who don't have a storefront which helps you can keep costs down, but make sure you see real work. Consider a smaller cake and/or use sheet cakes or cupcakes. 
  • Other Food -- catered or not. Depending on the time of your wedding, wedding guests may not expect a meal. Can you get by with cake and punch? A buffet or formal meal? If you have friends or family care for it, there will be more stress on you. Do you have to pay for the food or will it be their gift? Consider whether it is worth the cost savings?
  • Wedding Photography This is near and dear to my heart and I've seen too many sad after-the-wedding stories to not say this. Plan NOT to skimp on wedding photography. You get what you pay for! You can book far ahead to spread manageable payments out over a period of time.
  • Decorations. Themed weddings are in. Start planning early. Get ideas online. Can you purchase used decorations online? Can you and/or a friend make decorations? 
  • Bride's bouquet and daggerBride's bouquet and daggerBride's bouquet and dagger Flowers. Do you or someone you know have the ability to create beautiful bouquets? Are you okay with silk flowers? Selecting in-season flowers for your wedding will be less expensive.
  • Officiant. This is a minor expense, but one that you should not forget to include.
  • Music, DJ, Entertainment. Do you want live music, a DJ to run the show, or can you and/or someone you know plan and pull together the equipment needed to have the music you need at your wedding and reception. Who will deal with this on your wedding day? You won't have time.
  • Limo or Carriage, etc. Will you leave the wedding/reception in a limo or carriage or some other special means of transportation? 
  • Equipment Rental. Do you need to rent chairs? Chair covers? Tables? Aisle runner? Candelabras? etc.
  • Hair and Makeup. Where and by whom do you plan to get your hair and makeup done?
  • Last Minute Expenses. In the 22 years I've been shooting weddings, I have rarely been to a wedding that didn't have some last minute needs come up. Plan to have money set aside to pay for unexpected expenses.

Saving money requires planning and research...find ideas online. Look for deals. It also requires networking. Ask people for referrals to vendors who can do the job well and save you money. DON'T settle on an inexperienced or cheap vendor just to save money. You could be sadly disappointed afterward, as I mentioned about photography. Planning will save you money, and as I said in a previous blog, it will save you stress and lots of headaches.

]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Reflections by Rohne West Michigan budget wedding budget wedding planning wedding tips Thu, 24 Sep 2015 04:33:45 GMT
Why Should You Have a Wedding Coordinator? Your wedding day will be one of the most emotional and memorable days of your life. You want to be able to enjoy every detail of it. However, if you are responsible for the details on your wedding day, you will be too busy making sure everything is done right and cared for, that you won't be able to relax enough to enjoy your special day.

Weddings are complex events. Details include preparation, a ceremony event, a party event, and exit plans and first night and honeymoon details. Details include clothing and accessories, flowers, transportation, music, traditions, food, personnel, guests, vendors, decor, and much more.  

A wedding coordinator can ensure your wedding day will be a dream come true rather than a nightmare. Whether hired or volunteer, you want an organized, managerial person who will be responsible for all the details on your wedding day so that you can relax and enjoy your wedding, family and friends. Do not expect to deal with details and be relaxed. Do not make a close family member or friend that will want to be involved in your wedding activities your wedding coordinator. 

Connie Rohne, Photographer I photographed a wedding last year that the bride had planned so carefully, even creating a detailed manual of events. On the day of the wedding she was still the "go to" person to answer questions. She was so stressed she cried through the pre-ceremony preparations and most of the wedding. When a wedding coordinator is on the job, every question can be directed to that person rather than the bride.


Connie Rohne, Photographer There are three choices when you consider a wedding planner. Do you want/need:

• a full-service planner who will plan every detail (getting your approval on everything)

• someone to choose your wedding location and vendors

• a day-of coordinator (who will actually be involved with you for the last month before your wedding)

The first two will most likely be hired, the third could be. If you are considering hiring a wedding planner, here's a good guide to help select one.

Should you select a friend/family member to be a day-of coordinator, select someone you feel comfortable with knowing personal details; someone you trust; someone who understands and supports your wedding vision, theme, dream. Remember, do not choose a family member or friend who will want to participate in the activities/details of your day. It needs to be someone who will enjoy your wedding as a onlooking worker. Consider these questions. Will this person work within your budget?  Do you have enough history with this person to know and feel comfortable with they way he/she works? Do your personalities work together well? Do you trust this person to make instant decisions that will carry out your plans?

How do you work with this person to get prepared for your wedding? It is all about organization. Hopefully MONTHS before the wedding, you start working with a wedding planning guide, a book or online. Your wedding coordinator can use this planning guide to complete and fulfill your wedding plans. The last month before your wedding, schedule several meetings to go through details. The first meeting you, the bride, will be sharing these details. By the final week before your wedding your coordinator will be the one to answer questions and share all these details. At your rehearsal and on your wedding day, your coordinator will ensure your day is the fulfillment of all your wedding day dreams.


]]> (Reflections by Rohne) wedding coordinator wedding planner Wed, 02 Sep 2015 01:56:07 GMT
Tips to Prepare for Your Wedding Day Photographer, Joshua Rohne


Your wedding day should be the most wonderful day of your life. Unwanted stress shouldn’t darken your joyous day. Stress is caused from unexpected problems. How can you avoid it? Following are a couple ideas to help as you get started in your planning.

Day-dream about your wedding day. Write a description of what that dream looks like and then use the tools below to make your dream real.  



  1. Get ideas from wedding websites, like,, and Pinterest. You can create a page to save your wedding ideas on Pinterest, which you can make private so only you can see it, or public to share with others.

  2. Even if you are really organized, check a wedding planner guide to make sure you don’t miss any planning details. Even a small simple wedding involves lots of details. Use as little or as much as you need.

Happily Ever AfterHappily Ever AfterWedding Couple in Car after reception


Check out these free planning resources: wedding planning guide

The Knot Personal Websites and Planning


Several planning books are available. The has links to many. So does


Want more tips? Check our Wedding Tips Page or watch for upcoming blogs.

]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Reflections by Rohne wedding planning wedding stress wedding tips Tue, 18 Aug 2015 07:31:20 GMT
What Do Your Photos Say About Your Business? Reflections by Rohne provides corporate photography to the Grand Rapids and West Michigan. They work with you to capture your passion and the heart of your business endeavor to tell your story with photographs to the world, Michigan, your locale, potential customers, and your clients.

Conversation with Doug DeVosConnie Rohne, Photographer Connie Rohne, Photographer

A so-so image can leave a mark that the company is not detail oriented, but a professional photo lends its credibility to the company that uses it. Image Branding is equally important. Your potential customers should get the perception, at a glance, that your company is ‘established’ and will be around for a long time. Consistent, clean, interesting and happy images certainly help. 

~ Randy Smith

Computer GeekComputer GeekMale Portrait









Do you need an executive portrait in your natural setting or an amazing studio portrait? Perhap you need public relations photography or editorial photojournalism? Or perhaps your need is for product photography or advertising? Whatever your need, make sure your photos don't look "homemade". 

Look professional!

Bernards Ace AdBernards Ace AdCommercial Portrait Published January and February 2013

What do your images say about your business?

Harley AdHarley AdCommecial Ad Portait

Whether you need images for social media or your website, magazines, newsletters, annual reports, brochures or advertisements, Reflections by Rohne will tell your story through images that positively promote your business.

]]> (Reflections by Rohne) business photography professional Sun, 09 Aug 2015 01:03:07 GMT
Beautiful Outdoor Weddings If you plan an outdoor wedding, you have to be prepared to deal with the weather. If you need everything to be perfect, an outdoor wedding may not be a good idea. While the weather may cooperate, be prepared to go with the flow or have a backup plan that you will love also.

Connie Rohne, Photographer

We recently photographed a destination wedding in Ventura, California. The evening before we visited the park site and enjoyed a marvelous sunset.

Connie Rohne, Photographer The next morning it was pouring rain but we hoped it would clear in time to set up for the 3:00 wedding. The sun came out around 1:00 and with it came wind. Everything dried up nicely. The chairs and sound equipment were all set up for the ceremony. As we prepared to photograph the ceremony we realized we had to brace ourselves and camera to get images without shake blur. Flowers blew off their stands, bridesmaid dresses flapped, hairstyles gave way. At least the bride was facing into the wind because her waist long hair flew straight behind her most of the ceremony.  Connie Rohne, Photographer

The sound system could not be heard over the wind, so we just assumed what was said. The ceremony was cut short as possible, moving some planned elements to the indoor reception. All wedding portraits were cancelled at the site due to the wind, opting rather for a central patio at the Spanish mission where the reception would be. Even there, surrounded by building, the wind was still an issue.

Connie Rohne, Photographer Doris Long, Photographer The only posed image taken at the ceremony site was the wedding couple. As I staged them for the shot, my co-photographer yelled, "Connie, look out!" I turned just in time to see a six-foot diameter tumbleweed headed straight at me. I jumped out of the way, and as I did she caught this image of it passing them. I turned and caught an image of it at the end of the front row where just five minutes before all the parents and grandparents had been seated.

Sparklers had been planned for the reception exit, but the wind prohibited that idea. Instead the couple was ushered through an indoor people tunnel so they could run through they wind to their car.

Connie Rohne, Photographer Connie Rohne, Photographer

Despite all the disappointments of the day, they are just as married as if the weather had been perfect. Perhaps we didn't get some of the picturesque images we expected, but the images we got created a story that no other couple will ever have to tell. 

Connie Rohne, Photographer


]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Tue, 28 Jul 2015 01:32:18 GMT
Ready for Christmas? Cards? Whether you want formal or fun portraits, we're here to serve you. We can do formal portraits here in our studio, or come to your home and do fun Christmas portraits, or we'll brave the cold and go out in the snow and do live winter scene portraits with you. Contact us today to get on our schedule.

]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Christmas cards Christmas portraits Family Portraits Photo Cards Portraits Winter Portraits Sat, 15 Nov 2014 22:00:23 GMT
Painting Stories in Italian Castles When I was in Italy I had the privilege to stay in a castle near Chianti in Tuscany, about an hour south of Sienna. We were there for 6 days. Each day we were treated to delightful Italian fare by the chef, who just happened to be married to the owner of the castle. The last evening we ate in the inner courtyard of the castle. This image shows him serving the pumpkin custard we ate as our first course.

The image straight from the camera was good, and fun, but the feel of it wasn't quite as story-like as reality seemed that night. Post processing (in Photoshop) was quite extensive on this image to emphasize the details in this image that were important to the story. 

Looking at the steam rising from the serving bowl, which alone tells an important element of the story, I'm reminded of the chilly crispness to the air that night. The intensity in the chef's face reminds me of how dedicated he was to his job, and that, because of him, I experienced many glorious Italian dishes during my stay. The lamp and dishes remind me that while this was a castle to us, it was their home, and they tried to make us feel at home, even though we were in such an amazing castle. The architecture that is visible behind him hints as the grandeur of the castle and the history that had taken place within its walls. The woman helping him is his wife, an absolute Italian beauty. She looks like she belongs in a castle. However, as the castle owner, seeing her hands busy serving, reminds me of the amount of work she does to maintain her family heritage and inheritance. The castle is on a working farm, with vineyards and olive groves and sheep herds.

So this image is far from what it looked like coming out of the camera, but it looks much more like what my mind saw and remembers from my journey through Italy.

]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Italy Photoshop Reflections by Rohne Storytelling castle chef post-production story Sun, 26 Oct 2014 05:29:57 GMT
When Does Post-Production Make a Photo Better?

This past week I have been involved in an online discussion with some other photographers about painting effects on photographs. I've decided to use this week to explore when post production makes a photograph better. I'm not just talking about fixing blemishes or softening wrinkles. I talking about using filters or other artistic alterations to photographs. I shall explore a few methods and results and reasons. 

Today's first image was taken of a model in a castle in Italy. I have always like the photograph because the lighting was so perfect, but there are some offensive details in the image that I never wanted to work to correct. This year Photoshop has included an oil paint filter which is very easy to use and, if you know what you are doing, you can create interesting changes that make your images become even more story-like, which you know I'm all about!

The second image I shot in Tennessee. I think this image is great as is, but wanted to see what would happen to the trees if I turned it into a painting. I wasn't totally satisfied with just the oil paint filter, so (for you Photoshop lovers) I created another layer, used glowing edges filter, inverted it and made it a partially transparent overlay layer. Now I think a great photo is also a great painted image.


What you do think? Do you like one but not the other? What do you like about it or them? What do you dislike?

]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Oil Paint Photoshop Reflections Rohne Storytelling by Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:14:09 GMT
Telling a Story, Visually Reflections by Rohne is all about telling stories. We are storytellers, who just happen to be photographers so we tell stories visually. Most photographers freeze moments and document time, we tell stories. Everyone has a story—romantic, family oriented, or business/professional. We take time to understand our client’s story, to capture its essence visually by harnessing elements of photography (lighting, poses, framing, and time), so people can see and relive and share their story. 

To skillfully create a video, you have to plan ahead what you are going to capture. You do this by creating a storyboard. A storyboard is a series of drawings that represent the segments you will video, put together into an order that will tell your story. 

We do much the same when we photograph your story. First, we have to learn your story. We have to get to know the characters. That may be your family, your high school senior, an engaged couple, or it may be you and your business. Next we need to know how the characters interact, what part they play in the story, and what makes them do what they do. This may be parents and children, or an extended family. This may be a couple getting ready to commit their lives to one another. It may be an entrepreneur with a passion for meeting a specific need for someone. 

It takes time to learn your story, so we require more time than just when we photograph you. If you commission us to photograph your story, expect to spend time with us, whether in a consultation meeting a week or two ahead of your photography day; or a visit to your home to meet the family members and interact; or in the case of a wedding couple, once a season throughout the year ahead of your wedding.

The result? When we are photographing you, we see and capture expressions and interactions that we know will visualize your story. We know how to subltely guide you to create expressions and interactions that visualize your story.

We want to have fun in the process, and we want you to have fun also. So often we incorporate fun things you say into your story. Sometimes that means the stories have elements of make-believe, but then again, isn't there an element of fairy tale in every love story?


]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Family Portraits Reflections by Rohne Storytelling Wedding Video Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:47:20 GMT
Lighthouses in Autumn Here in Grand Rapids, fall is in the air! Art is also!

ArtPrize is going on in Grand Rapids, until October 10. Last week I participated in an arts and craft show selling my lighthouse and other fine art photography. Some of my favorite lighthouse photographs were taken in the fall. There is something about the crispness of the air in the fall, not to mention the colors of the trees, that makes nature vibrant. Here are two of my favorites. The first is St. Joseph Inner and Outer Lites on lower Lake Michigan. This was taken on October day in 2012. The wind was blowing 60 miles an hour that day. I had to sit on the beach because I could not stand against the wind. The giant waves were crashing over the lighthouse about every 60 to 90 seconds.

The second image is a digital composite. You may recognize both parts. The lighthouse is Point Iroquois on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula. The waterfall is Tequamenon Fall. They are actually about 30 miles apart, but I photographed both on the same day and fell in love with both and thought they would really enhance each other's beauty. So, I played a little in Photoshop. Of course this was back in 1995, when Photoshop was not nearly as intuitive or sophisticated. (Yes, I've "grown up" with Photoshop. We met in 1993 and have been together ever since.)  I also had to create the reflection of the lighthouse in the water because I was on foot that day and could only stand on the edge of the water.

I will be having another tent art sale at my studio on October 11, the day after ArtPrize ends. Come by and see my work, and pick up a Christmas gift for someone. You can visit my gallery to see some of the other images I may have available that day. And of course, if you want something that is not available that day, or you live out of town, we can always do a special order for you. 

]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Fall colors Michigan Lighthouses Point Iroquois Lighthouse St. Joseph Lighthouse Tequamenon Falls Waves autumn lighthouses Tue, 30 Sep 2014 00:43:44 GMT
Natural Beauty Everyone in this world has natural beauty, because we are made in the image of God. Finding the right light helps to draw out that natural beauty. Today I made use of natural light (the sunshine coming in our studio window) to photograph Connie. Here's an example of a bad portrait versus a good one. I knew I wanted to use the light from the window, but not directly shining on her face. After shooting the first image I moved her a little to get the best placement for the light on her face as well as a flattering position. I had to stand in the right place to get the view I wanted. The right angle can make a person look healthier, younger and more attractive. The light pattern on a person's face can make a better picture. We use photography skills like lighting patterns, angle, position of subject, exposure and depth of field to make you look your best. 



]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Photography Reflections by Rohne natural light portrait sunlight window light Fri, 26 Sep 2014 19:06:25 GMT
Labor and School This week marks two events on our calendar in Michigan: Labor Day and the start of school. Labor Day celebrates the achievements of we Americans...

accomplished through our labor. Most of our accomplishments would not have been possible without the knowledge gained through our school education, so tying these two together seems only fitting. Being educated provides us the knowledge and ability to be able to do the kind of job we want. 

Cheerful MechanicCheerful Mechanic

(Many other character qualities are necessary to secure and keep the kind of job we want also.) 

Education then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance-wheel of the social machinery.  ~Horace Mann  

To commemorate both I am highlighting one of my favorite school programs, which teaches students practical 

skills needed for several kinds of jobs. Kent Transition Center has programs in Business Administration & Technology, Facilities Maintenance, Hospitality, Landscape/Horticulture, Retail, and Transportation. Their students learn the skills on campus and then go out and complete internships in actual businesses. By the time they complete their studies, they are ready to be hired into real jobs. KTC has businesses and 

organizations all over greater Grand Rapids that take in interns every year, testament to the great job that the staff is doing in preparing these young men and women for the work world.

]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Kent Transition Center Labor Day education internships school starts Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:43:12 GMT
Take GREAT Photos This Weekend

Got fun plans this holiday weekend? We're going camping with friends. The guys plan to take in some fishing and we girls plan to find some great photo ops. What would you expect from me!?!

Seriously, you can take great photos of your family and friends this weekend too. All you need is great lighting and God provides a perfect light source for us all. The sun! All you need to do is be mindful of where it is. Here's an example.

You see, photographers know a secret that most other people don't. We basically use about four different lighting patterns to create great images. One of them is called loop lighting. It is called loop lighting because the light creates a little loop just to the side and below the person's nose.

Pay attention to where the sun is, especially if it is a bright sunny day. You want the sun in front of but to the side of your subjects, like this little diagram.

As long as the sun is at that angle from your subject's face, you can shoot from any angle and get great lighting. Notice that the angle of the sun (see large pink arrow) creates on the photo. It is about 60 degrees, not 90 directly overhead. This creates the loop just below and to the right of this subject's nose (see green arrow and gold loop). Even if you are photographing inside, remember this same rule applies to your light source.

A second secret that photographers know is about using flash as fill instead of your primary light. As long as the sun is not hidden by clouds, it will always be brighter than your camera's flash. You can get dark shadow if it is too bright, so using a flash will soften shadows. (It will also help balance between sun and shadow if you are under tree branches.) It will also create a little light reflection in your subject's eyes that we photographers call "catch lights". 

How key are these to great photos? They are two ingredients in a photo that judges always look for in images that photographers submit in contests.

So get out there and photograph your friends and family this holiday and enjoy the last few days of summer. But remember, great expressions make the best photos! So enjoys lots of fun and laughter. 

See you after the holiday weekend!


]]> (Reflections by Rohne) lighting loop patterns photographer sunlight Fri, 29 Aug 2014 13:19:00 GMT
GenCon: The Real World of Fantasy Last Wednesday through Sunday 56,613 gamer nerds attended GenCon 2014 in Indianapolis, enjoying over 14,000 events. If you check records online you will see the unique attendance listed as 56, of them was me... and I don't qualify in the gamer nerd category. Josh was there for the whole time with 5 other friends. I only attended for one day for the express purpose of photographing one of our wedding couples to include images in their wedding photo guest book. Of course, I couldn't help but photograph others, who were gladly posing for everyone's camera. Being in Indy for this event was a photographers dream. It offers these nerds an opportunity to dress like their characters, "break away from day-to-day molds and expectations, and explore a side of themselves they seldom if ever experience." (Connie Rohne, Artist Statement, September 2013)

Here are some of the fun costumes we saw. 

Maybe next year, you will want to go also.

]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Character Photos Cosplay Costume Photos GenCon Indianapolis Nerds The Best 4 days in Gaming Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:27:43 GMT
Fantastical Fantasy Image by Beth RooseImage by Beth Roose

This past week has been filled with fantasy. I went to Indianapolis and photographed next month's wedding couple at GenCon. I also photographed other characters while I was there. Josh attended the convention with other friends. While there he photographed several also. We will share some of those images in my post tomorrow.

Another assignment this week was to create a fantasy image for another photographer with an image she shot of a model. Here's the image.

Beth asked me to take the model image and "turn it into the figurehead of a old-fashion sail boat like the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria... and give them huge monarch butterfly wings to match  their tulling to act as the sails.. and then the other sails on the ship have" wings like butterflies, similar to "Departure of the Winged Ship" Vladimir Kush.

Everything else used in the photo was either shot by me or created with Photoshop. This was the first time I did a job like this for someone else. It was challenging to see the concept in her mind as compared to the concept I got from the words we shared. I way underestimaged the amount of time that it would take to pull all the parts together, mainly because they didn't exist until we worked our way through the concept. So I learned a lot about talking to someone to understand their concept and be able to visualize it for them.

I don't plan to take one more jobs like this, but I'm sure I will continue to create fantastical images.

What does this image make you think of?

Mysterious MagicFigurehead Butterfly Ship




]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Michigan Photography Reflections by Rohne concept photography visual concept Wed, 20 Aug 2014 00:37:45 GMT
Painted Roses This summer has been particularly good for my garden. Each day I'm greeted by amazing beauty outside my front windows and door. The exquisite beauty constantly amazes me and reminds me what a great Creator God is. Laying awake tonight I decided to get up and play with some of my photos. These paintings are the result. A simple phone photo becomes fine art. I love the softness of the painted look. What do you think?

]]> (Reflections by Rohne) Reflections by Rohne fine art paint effect roses Thu, 14 Aug 2014 07:56:31 GMT
Photographing Children RoseAngelRoseAngelGedde style image of infant with butterfly wings on back lying in petals of a rose. Photographing children is so much fun AND fulfilling. It is fun to watch them grow and develop physically and to see their unique personality emerging. Babies are cute as a bug's ear (but how many people look close enough to see how cute bug's ears are anyway). 

We get to see our youngest clients every three months, but once they reach the first year, it slows down to annually. We also get to photograph other family members. Sometimes we also see you at church or around town. It is so nice to be friends with our clients.

Beautiful SonBeautiful SonParents holding newborn son who looks back at their faces. Jamie, a young mother who asked me to photograph her baby, told me a sad story about losing a year old child about three years earlier. She had never gotten professional photos taken. In fact all she had were telephone photos and as she said, they weren't good.

Now she wanted to be sure to document her new son's tiny finger, toes, smiles, developing body, and his unique personality. Make sure you have a visual history worth looking at and sharing over and over again. 

This video describes why we love to photograph children. Enjoy!

Why Do We Photography Children?Here's why Reflections by Rohne photographs children.


]]> (Reflections by Rohne) children photography family photography infant photography newborn photography photographing children Wed, 13 Aug 2014 18:27:07 GMT