LIfestyle Newborn Family Sessions

How does Cristy Cross Photography photograph newborn sessions?

Your newborn session takes place in your home and in your babies nursery 1-2 weeks after the baby is born.

Photographing you and your family in your space, cuddled up on the couch or hanging out in the kitchen creates a relaxed and comfortable feeling for the whole family.

Basically I focus on allll the hugs, kisses and intimate setting.

Would you like more information? Send me an email at cristy@cristycross.com or click the CONACT tab. I’d love to visit more with you.

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Let's Get Authentic

  For more info on getting genuine smiles of your family, you can check out the live video here.

When hiring me for your family photographer, ask yourself why you want family photos?  What's the desire behind having them done?  Also, where do you want to take these pictures?  And, what in the world are you going to wear?

Let me break it down for you.

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Why get family photos?  Do you want to document your family and kids while they are little in their genuine, real-life moments? Those laughable, funny and squishy love moments? 

Where should you photograph your family? If you want those genuine moments, photographing in your home is the best place.  Families are in their environment and will be more authentic.  (Your backyard are also a great location) BUT your favorite park is also a plus! Just like this family session below.

What to wear? First off, start with mom.  Then work on the rest of the family outfits.  Keeping with solid colors is best.  You want these photos to be timeless, yet trendy. Decide on a color palette choosing between cool tones or warm tones.  For example, gray, cream and tan are a good base.  Add baby blue and dark gray for cool tones or for warm tones add maroon, camel and blush.  

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Plan your outfits a week before the session.  Then, lay them out the night before so you are prepared and ready to go. 

Keep the outfits simple.  I want you to feel comfortable and relaxed.  

30 minutes to 1 hour before your session:
-Feed your kids a light snack, like apples or a banana.
-Please don't feed your children gold fish, or graham crackers or anything that will
stick in their teeth prior to the session. (for the young ones)
Feel free to do all of that AFTER the session :)

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 Note to mom:

Get your hair and makeup done by a professional.  Nothing crazy or out of the ordinary.  Just having a professional to pamper you is something you deserve.  Consider it a gift to yourself.

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Hey Friend! Life Is About To Get So Much Easier

Hey friend! Are you taking 100s of pictures of your children and not satisfied with the way they look? I want to help make your life just a little bit easier.

It takes me seconds when it comes to editing my photos, because of my presets. It takes my friends seconds to edit, and they aren’t photographers.

These CC Mobile Presets are incredibly simple. You click one button and you are done. Adding pops of color with clean and crisp light, a beautifully composed photograph just became more amazing.

These presets, CC Mobile Presets, are made for mobile phones using the free Lightroom app, as well as Lightroom CC for desktop/laptop.

Sharing is caring right? Well, my friends want to share with you their experience with the CC Mobile Presets.

They make editing so simple and fun.
— Aimee
I’ve never used presets before and you made it so easy. Thank you so much
— Jackie
If you haven’t purchased the CC Mobile Presets, you are missing out! They make taking pictures fun.
— Mady
They enhance the colors! They make your social media look so much better. -Sasha
— Sasha
They seriously take my pictures up a notch.
— Maggie

BEFORE AND AFTER

Don’t miss out on making your life easier. Get your time back!

 

Blog Archives

Tutorial: Editing Your Photos Using Lightroom

When it comes to photography, you not only need to know how to take a picture, but you also need to know how to edit an image!

Take a look at this video as I edit on the mobile Lightroom CC app. This app can also be used on your desktop. There are two kinds of Lightroom though, so make sure you select the one that shares with your mobile device. (Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC) that way you can post easily on social media using your phone.

Take a look at all of the images below that I edited using my mobile Lightroom app and applying my CC Mobile Presets.

Interested in the presets? Take a look below.


BROWSE INSTAGRAM

I love promoting and introducing you to new people, so take a look at my friend Jen’s 7 things she’s obsessed with right now.

My Secret To Photographing Kids

Do you want to know my secret to photographing kids?

Well the secret is patience. I know it’s not a big eye opening secret, but that’s it. Easier said than done.

When I photograph kids, I also play with them and talk to them and get down on their level. I give them actions so they don’t just stand in front of the camera and smile. For example "hold hands and walk in front of me” or lift your sister up with her hands in the air smiling at the sky and turn in circles.”

The in-betweens though, they are my favorite. The moment after the shot or when they are just being siblings. As a photographer you have to watch and observe, and that’s when the patience comes in.

Get the traditional smiling-at-the camera shots, but then let go and have fun yourself as the photographer, whether your are the mom, hobbyist, or professional photographer. Get outside the box and photograph who kids really are- super energetic, fun and loving. They always have a better idea for a photograph if you will just sit back and watch.

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Have you ever done a photo scavenger hunt before? My friend Kristina started one up and she shares all about it on her blog. Click here and you can see the list she made and do it too.

 

How to Reduce Screen Time for Your Kids this Summer

School is out, and Lord knows we don’t want our kids wasting away on their screens this summer.

I researched some ideas that would work for my kids and we are in the second week with a summer list I think you will love.

I seriously wake up in the morning and my kids have already brushed their hair, put on their clothes and made their beds. They’ve even read books and built or crafted an amazing project…all on their own. Now, my kids are 11 and 7, so they can do all of these by themselves for the most part.

This list has saved us! My youngest needs structure. Like, his body actually craves it and his behavior is best throughout the day with structure. He has really enjoyed the list. My mind is blown. IT’S ACTUALLY WORKING.

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Checking off their activities on their list.

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It’s funny how excited the boys can get from an expo marker and eraser.

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Print your own Summer Rules list for your kids. Click on the image below to download.

They’ve been busy reading, playing, exploring, writing, and using their imagination off screen:

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Building and using their imagination

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Playing outside…The list says 20 minutes, but they always end up being out there much longer.

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Reading and writing. Benson, my 11 yr old, has turned in 3 one page written reports-all on his own after reading books.

We went to the library last Wednesday to get books. Benson selected this book, 400 pages, and finished it yesterday. I’m so proud of him for being an eager reader.

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Reading and puzzles

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Building a movie fort

7 on 7 Photo Project

I belong to an amazing group of photographers.  Each month, we write blog posts and share them.  Take a minute to visit my friend Jen Vazquez, a photographer in California, to read her blog post. 

Learn how to use your digital camera!

Learn how to use your digital camera!

Make your smartphone photos look professional!

Make your smartphone photos look professional!






10 Tips For Styling a Successful Flat Lay for Instagram

Are you a photographer showcasing your workspace, a graphic designer with inspirational props, or a handbag designer demonstrating your skills?

Flaty lays are a great way to exhibit your profession through social media and website imagery. They are so much fun, but can be tricky if not done right. Follow these steps and you will thrilled with the outcome.

1. Tell a Story

When styling a flat lay, decide on what story you want to tell. Plan out a theme. Tell a story about going on a trip to California for example. If you are a boutique owner selling summer clothes, think of all the items you would wear with those clothes. A beach hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, flip flops, bathing suit, etc.

2. Work in Odd Numbers

Don’t clutter the space of your image. A rule to go by in the design world is to work in a group of odd numbers. Start with three and no more than 7 or 9 items.

3. Layer your items

Layering your items will add depth to your photos and make them come alive.

4. Declutter your background space

Make your background clean and simple. Use a white poster board for example to create a simple look. You can also use textured fabrics, wooden desk, or kitchen counter top.

5. Window Light

Once you’ve got all of your items ready to go, find your window light. Set your items in the cover-shaded area, not direct sun. The window light is like a big diffused softbox and is perfect for taking pictures.

6. Reflectors

Use a reflector to bounce light onto your subject. You can use a white poster board from the dollar store for this. No need in breaking the bank for photo props :)

7. Shoot From Above

A flat lay is photographed from above, but once you get that angle, work around your subject for more photo opportunities.

8. Keep It Real

Make your flat lays interactive. Add in a hand model demonstrating your product. For example, if you are selling sunscreen with Beauty Counter, squeeze out the sunscreen on your hands :)

9. Keep it Simple

Use negative space to simplify and impact your photograph by drawing the viewers eye directly to your subject.

10. Don’t Over Think It

Have fun and play around with several different layouts. This will help you decide which layout you like best. You shouldn’t spend more than 20 minutes on each layout. If you do, you are over thinking it.

Have fun creating! Samples of flat lay ideas are below!

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14 Creative and Inspiring Ways To Add Color In Your Home

Is it time to redecorate your home? Take pointers from my friend and interior designer, Callie Parr in these beautifully designed rooms she did for her clients.

Which room would you want in your home? My favorite are the hot pink cushions! Go scroll through and see what I’m talking about. You will love them!

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Splash of color with a yarn tapestry and throw pillow

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Funky orange wall tile

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Neutral curtains and greenery

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Hot pink seat cushions and magazine covers

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Bright orange couch

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mid-century wallpaper and velvet olive couch

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Area rug and feather wall décor

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Framed textile art

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Area rug and floral arrangements

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Orange stools

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Fruit on the countertop

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Bright yellow chair and throw pillows

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Succulent plants and throw blanket

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Soft pink floral arrangement

5 Easy Ways To Enhance Your Photos with CC Mobile Presets

Easy to use presets are in the shop! The CC Mobile Presets were designed for anyone on the go, taking pictures with their smart phone and wanting a little more pop or pizazz for their photos. They are fresh, funky and full of color. Each one is titled an 80s song to make your photo magic making a little more fun.

Do you have to be a professional photographer to use these presets? No way! They were created for anyone with a smart phone. Buy Now!

As a matter of fact, I’ve created a Spotify playlist just for you while you edit with your CC Mobile Presets.

Click on the Spotify album below:

 

5 Easy Ways to Enhance Your Photos Using the CC Mobile Presets for Lightroom:

  1. Apply Material Girl preset to photo

  2. Apply Betty Davis Eye’s preset to photo

  3. Apply Jessie’s Girl preset to photo

  4. Apply Take On Me preset to photo

  5. Apply Tainted Love preset on photo

So easy right?

When you purchase the presets (thanks by the way), you will need to have the *Dropbox app and *Lightroom app, both free apps in the App Store.

These presets are available for iPhone and Android phones.

BEFORE-STRAIGHT OUT OF CAMERA

BEFORE-STRAIGHT OUT OF CAMERA

BEFORE-STRAIGHT OUT OF CAMERA

BEFORE-STRAIGHT OUT OF CAMERA

BEFORE-STRAIGHT OUT OF CAMERA

BEFORE-STRAIGHT OUT OF CAMERA

AFTER-TAKE ON ME

AFTER-TAKE ON ME

AFTER-MATERIAL GIRL

AFTER-MATERIAL GIRL

AFTER-TAINTED LOVE

AFTER-TAINTED LOVE

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER-TAKE ON ME

AFTER-TAKE ON ME

CC MOBILE PRESETS
58.00

Included:

-four color presets

-one black and white

The black and white preset is perfect for those who love a beautiful black and white film photograph.

The color presets add a fresh, funky, light and bright style.

-Instructions on how to install Lightroom for your phone, as well as how to install your presets into Lightroom.

These presets are NOT the same as desktop presets and are designed to work specifically with jpg files and mobile images. This preset collection works only with the Adobe Lightroom CC MOBILE app, which is free on mobile devices.

This preset purchase is for ONE user only.

ALL SALES ARE FINAL, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

After you purchase your presets and receive your receipt, I will send a second email with the presets and installation instructions.

Quantity:
BUY NOW

On a different note, I’d love for you to check out my friend Kristina’s blog. She just went on a beautiful trip to Carmel and it makes me want to go too!


What ISO Setting Should I Use With My Digital Camera?

ISO? What does that even mean? The best and easiest way I like to describe it is like this…

Remember when you would purchase film at the grocery store? They would have 100 speed, 400 speed, 800 speed, etc. The ISO provides your camera with the amount of light you need on your camera’s image sensor for digital cameras and film for, well film cameras.

If it’s sunny outside, you don’t need extra help with light. The light source you are using is already provided…the SUN! But as the day goes on, it can get cloudy or evening time comes around and you lose that light. So what do you need to do to give your camera more light? Answer-Increase your light source by increasing your ISO.

I know it can be confusing, so I made this ISO CHEAT SHEET for you. When I first learned about my camera, it took me a while to put all the steps together. I’m hoping this form will help it all make more sense.

For example, if it’s sunny outside around 10 am, you would set your ISO to 100. Then, in the same day, as the sun goes down, say around 6 pm, you would raise your ISO to 400-800.

Let me also remind you, the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture (f-stop) all work together to make an even exposed photograph. If you’d like to learn more about how to shoot with your digital camera, I’d love to teach you at my DSLR Workshop!

Right now I’m offering a special on group workshops until April 30, 2019. Grab your friends and we will make a fun day out of it!

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Need ideas on what to photograph? Take a look below to get you started.

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I Love Lubbock, Texas Wedding Vendors

It never fails when I have an event or wedding in Lubbock, Tx the vendors go all out. They hold nothing back and create some of the most amazing setups, which turn out beautiful in my pictures.

From The West Table providing a beautiful modern space and mouth watering food, to tablescapes and flowers from The Poppies and Peonies Floral Design, and homemade pies from Evie Mae’s Pit BBQ, you will not be disappointed.

As a photographer, it’s important to have a team to produce such an elaborate showcase and I recommend these businesses 100%.

Cheers to a gorgeous wedding!

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The Sunny Side of Product Photography

If you’ve ever wished you could have professional photographs of your products, but were too nervous to hire a professional, worry no more.

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My photographs of your products will make you fall more in love with them and eager to sell to the masses.

Doesn’t that sound great? Select the CONTACT tab at the top of this page to fill out the form and we can get started today!

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Keep scrolling to see my favorites from this shoot for a Colorado based boutique.

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Peace Out. I'm Graduating

What if…

What if I didn’t explore my creativity the day I did this shoot?

What if I would have stuck with something safe?

What if I didn’t branch out and try unique and random poses with Jayda?

Thinking outside the box is where I feel most alive. That’s where I feel like I matter most. It’s the place that reassures me I’m doing something right, because it’s so different.

Do I only photograph matrix style and peace-sign photos? Absolutely not. Traditional shots are a must too (as you see below), but when I’m done being traditional and playing by the rules, I like to take an adventure across that dotted line and dig deeper than my mind can comprehend.

I have another senior session this weekend and I’m curious as to what we will create.

Can I give you some tips before your senior session?

-RELAX. You are graduating. Be excited.

-Think of me as a friend and live it up.

-Wear clothes that are YOU. Don't dress up in a stuffy dress or suit if you don’t like wearing one.

-Getting your hair and makeup done is always fun :)

-Be open to ideas.

-Let me direct you. Don’t think you have to know what to do, I’ll help you out with that part.

-Have fun.

oxox

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On a different note, if you go back to my food photography post, you will see where I shared a blog from another photographer friend. Well this time I’m sharing my friend Jen Vasquez’s post on getting engagements and weddings. I think you will enjoy it! Click here to read what she has to say about it all.

Free Valentine Card Printable

Valentine’s Day is almost here and I’ve got you covered if you are one of those procrastinating people. haha Don’t worry, I don’t judge.

I made this printable for myself and I’d love to share it with you. It’s great for any mama who doesn’t want to give out sugary treats. It’s also perfect for any kiddo who has food allergies. We can’t leave those cuties out!

I suggest printing them out on cardstock paper. This will make them sturdy.

I used my printer and home, cut them out, and taped a pencil on the back with cute patterned washi tape.

That's all you have to do.

So, go print your OXOXO valentine cards and be the coolest mom ever.

Click here to download your Valentine Card printable.

Also take a peek on my Instagram. Well actually, I’d love for you to stay a while. I post daily on this platform of recent sessions, product shots, and tutorials for any of you camera loving people.

Learn more about each photo by clicking on the image.

Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day!


Give Me All The Food

My two passions have officially collided. Food and photography.

It’s no lie that we all love to eat. Am I right? Let me guess. Right now you are thinking of your favorite dish or dessert that makes you go into a far off land. haha

Lately, I’ve been diving into brand and commercial photography and several of my clients are food companies. Yay for me, because AFTER I take all the mouth watering pictures, I eat all the goodness. And sometimes I share with my family too. Let’s be honest, they love my new job too.

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Who’s hungry? Is your mouth watering yet?

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Food inspires me and I am so thrilled this adventure has crossed my path. Ask any of my friends and family, and they will tell you all I talk about is food. I’m even talking about lunch while eating breakfast!

When we are passionate about certain things in our lives, we put our whole heart behind it, and that is what I do here for each of my clients.

I’m also passionate about taking adventurous trips, yet I’ve been able to do that. So for now, I’m living vicariously through my friend Kris McNeil. I’ve met her through a group of other photographers and her work is phenomenal. Take a look at her blog post. She just went on a National Geographic trip you guys!!! How amazing is that? I would give my left kidney to do be a National Geographic photographer. That has always been a dream. Just wait. When you see her pictures you will fall in love with the landscape. I’m pretty sure if I witnessed her photos in person, I would cry. I would cry, because God is so amazing at all the things he creates.

 

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

Free Printable Christmas Gift Tags and DIY Custom Wrapping Paper

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I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for homemade gifts and wrapping. And when you add a minimalistic gift tag to it, you’ve won me over.

I created these gift tags for myself as I’m wrapping presents for family. Hint hint, they are photographs in picture frames. I mean, I am a photographer, so ya know that’s what I do.

I wish I could write beautifully like this, but I can’t. So I rely on good ‘ol photoshop fonts.

And I am sharing my free custom gift tags with you here. It’s super easy. Just download the tags, print them out on cardstock, and attach with your favorite garland or ribbon.

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If you ant to take it a step further, you can make your own wrapping paper.

All you need is kraft packing paper (you can buy it at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or any office store), cookie cutter of choice, black sharpie marker (or colored sharpies), and colored pencils.

Step one, lay out the wrapping paper

Step two, trace the Christmas tree all over the paper-enough to cover the gift you are wrapping

Step three, wrap your present

Step four, color your Christmas tree with colored pencils.

Step five, wrap with ribbon or garland and add one of my gift tags

It’s totally up to you on your design. Let your imagination flow. I encourage you to change it up a bit and make it your own.

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Merry Christmas and enjoy!

Blessings,

Cristy

The Wiegel's In-Home Family Session

Summer time is here and I'm thinking about activities to do with the kids. One of our favorite and simple things to do is a picnic in our backyard. My six year old loves to help out and pack a few items too. Things like gummies, bubble gum, nerds, sweet tarts... Basically any kind of candy.

We try to balance it out with a few carrots and celery sticks too.
What do you like to pack in your picnic basket?

 

I also realize I never photographed one of my favorite at-home family sessions.

So here is the super fabulous Wiegel family.

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The Hamilton Girls Clovis, NM Lifestyle Session

As a kid, summertime meant climbing in my grandparents tree and collecting cicada shells with my brothers and cousins. These days, I mostly look forward to hanging out on the back porch eating dinner with my family and maintaining my veggie garden.

I wonder if (just for old time’s sake) I could try climbing a tree, but I have no desire to play with bug shells. What do you look forward to this summer?

When I photographed this sweet families session, it made me think of my childhood and the carefree summer days.  Running, playing, squealing and giggling.

Look at how adorable they are :) 
 

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America and Watermelon.4th of July Celebration

I don't know if it's the sticky hot summer air, or the sticky watermelon juice, but I love this time of year.

When I was a kid, I remember celebrating the 4th of July with my family and friends on a random country road shooting off fireworks in the dark and staying up way too late. We would tell ghost stories and eat watermelon while watching the colors pop in the sky.  Those stories still give me the creeps. haha

Happy 4th of July!

Styled shoot by: Cristy Cross

Model: Saylor S.

Collaboration photographer: Katie Corley (check out more of her work from this shoot here)

Little Blue European Truck: Stephenie Brooks

 

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Sara and Tobi's Engagement Session at Oasis Park

"And I'd choose you;

in a hundred lifetimes,

in a hundred worlds,

in any version of reality,

I'd find you and

I'd choose you."

-The Chaos of Stars

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Wedding season is around the corner and I'm excited for the engagement sessions that will be happening soon!

Did you know if you book a wedding with me, you get a complimentary engagement session?

It's true.  Inquire in the contacts section and I'll get you all the information.

Or email me at cristy@cristycross.com

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