Making The Most Of Your Portrait Session

As an experienced Spokane portrait photographer I have had the opportunity to shoot many wonderful people in countless settings; from Riverfront Park, to the Palouse, to Tubbs Hill in Coeur d’Alene. As a courtesy to all my clients I’ve used my knowledge to create a list of tips and tricks to help you get the best possible photos from your family portrait, senior portrait, or individual portrait session. From kids sessions to engagements, these are useful hints here for anyone who is preparing to go in front of the camera.

In preparation for your portrait session:

Darker colors are more slimming. Dark colors also draw more attention to the subjects face. It doesn’t mean you have to wear all black though, be creative just bear in mind that if you are self conscious about your weight already stay on the darker end of the tonal range.

Bright colors draw attention away from the face. Using them to accent an outfit is great and helps personalize a shoot, but overpowering bright colors (think neon or tie-dye) are going to make it so no one sees the real subject.

Solid colors or subtle patterns are preferable to loud attention grabbing patterns for the same reason you should stick to darker more muted colors.

Bring a change of clothing; most photographers don’t mind taking a minute to stop for an outfit change. Even if you just bring a different shirt or a jacket to go over your shirt it adds depth and dimension to the whole shoot.

Bare arms add weight. If you are self conscious about weight to begin with it may benefit you to wear long sleeves. Having a lot of exposed skin draws the eye away from the face.

Shoes - If you are shooting outdoors and plan to wear fancy shoes be sure to bring along shoes that will be comfortable and allow you to walk from one location to the next.

Couples - Outfits should compliment each other. This doesn’t mean you must match but if one of you is wearing a ‘cool’ color like blue or green the other should as well. The same goes for warmer tones like yellows, reds or browns.

MenShave and moisturize a few hours before your shoot. Doing it a little while ahead of time helps reduce the appearance or razor burn and irritation.

LadiesAvoid sheer tops or anything that undergarments will show through. It may not look ‘that bad’ in the mirror but add in the flash and you never know what you’ll see.

Ladies - Lipstick or lip gloss will draw more attention to your face. Lighter shades may not show up in photos. Avoid glittery lipstick if at all possible as it may catch light and create a glare.

Hair cuts should be done 1-2 weeks prior to photos. This allows time for things to grow out and look more natural.

Accessorize – simple jewelry, belts, scarves, etc all add a personal touch.

Hydrate – Do your skin a favor and drink plenty of water in the 24 hours leading up to your portrait session.

If alcohol generally makes your skin red or blotchy please avoid it for 18 hours prior to your session. You want to look your best for the photos.

If you are not feeling well for any reason let your photographer know and reschedule your session. If you feel sick it will show in the photos. You want to come to your session bright, alert and ready to take some amazing portraits.

It’s Baby Season – Spokane Maternity Photos

Few things are more beautiful than bringing new life into the world. Lacey LaDuke Photography wants to help capture this special time in your life and preserve it for years to come. Maternity photos are a great way to share this special moment with friends, relatives and the new little one who is on the way.

maternity photos spokane

The Spokane area offers a multitude of beautiful backdrops for maternity photos, or if you’d prefer I can come to you and do the photos in the comfort of your own home.  If you prefer you can visit my home studio for a session as well. No matter which option you choose we will do a shoot that will create enduring images that will be treasured for a lifetime. Daddy and siblings are always welcome to be in the shoot as well. Consider it to be baby’s first family photo!

Don’t hesitate, pregnancy is a beautiful thing and between 7-8 months is the prime time to capture the essence of the new life inside of you! You’re glowingly beautiful and that baby bump is at it’s photogenic best.

Contact me for a free consultation today! I’ve got several package options and I would love to make a personalized quote for you.  If you’d like to see a list of my rates and other services you can find that here.


Wedding Package Updates

As a wedding photographer I am an integral part of your big day. My job is to work for you to make sure that everything goes as planned. This isn’t just on your wedding day though, the process starts as soon as you contact me for a quote. I start by getting to know a bit about you and your fiance and this helps me tailor a quote specifically to your needs. Recently in talking to brides to be I’ve found more and more people want to be able to build their own packages. I’ve always obliged but never officially announced it so here it is: Lacey LaDuke Photography is now offering a ‘Build your own Wedding Package” option.

Optional session items include but are not limited to:

  • Engagement Session
  • Bridal Boudoir Session
  • Bridal Shower Coverage
  • Rehearsal Dinner Coverage
  • Trash the Dress Session

Also onto any package you can add the following items or upgrades:

  • Wedding Books (7×7, 8×10, 11×13)
  • Mini Parent Books (standard 7×7)
  • Canvas Wrap Prints up to 20×30 inches
  • Prints for “Save the Date” cards
  • Prints for “Thank You” cards
  • Matted Framed “Guestbook” photo

Products and services aren’t limited to this list. If you’ve got anything in mind that you are curious about please ask. I’m working for you and I aim to please! I still have a few openings for the 2011 season and I am booking for 2012. If you are looking for the right photographer please do not hesitate to contact me for a personalized quote.

Amber & Joe

Spring Hikes & Photo-ops in the Inland NW

It’s that time of year again, Spring is trying to take hold and dethrone Winter’s icy grip on the inland northwest. The weather may be  unpredictable, but it is worth braving to get out to take in some of the local outdoor recreation areas that are in their prime early in the year.

These area include the desert lakes and seasonal streams west of  Spokane such at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Hog Lake and the seasonal Hog Falls,  and many others.

The native flowers are in bloom and the animals are waking up for their winter sleep and the babies abound.

Here are a few tips for taking better photos while exploring this Spring:

For better landscape photos shoot when the sun is lower in the sky, some of the best light is seen in the hour after sunrise and in the hour before sunset.  This is called the “Golden Hour” for an obvious reason.  When the sun is directly overhead colors are flat, there are no shadows to show depth and nothing looks dynamic.


Palouse Falls at Sunrise

Palouse Falls at Sunrise


To increase your chances of getting a good shot of an animal in its natural environment you should set your camera to continuous auto-focus (usually the ‘sport’ setting on lower end cameras) and plan on turning the camera onto continuous shooting mode. Taking several shots increases the chances of getting something spectacular. The beauty of the digital age is that you can just delete the photos that you don’t like, there’s no extra cost! Another great tip for shooting smaller animals (think turtles or ducks or marmots) is to get down low on to their eye level, it’s far more aesthetically pleasing to see an animals eyes than to shoot them from above.





One last popular Spring subject is flowers. Wildflowers, garden flowers, flowers in the pots around your windows;  they are all colorful and attractive and bring about hope that maybe Winter is ending and Spring will finally take hold.  Anyone can take a picture of a flower but making the picture as beautiful as the flower itself can be difficult. When you see the flower in person you gather so much extra information without realizing it. You see it from different angles, smell the sweet scent, see the bees buzzing and the buds gently swaying in the wind. To capture all of this in a photo is impossible, but you can come closer to preserving the image you are actually seeing.  Get in close and get low. Being on the same level as the subject helps. Also don’t be afraid to play with the focus or depth of field. Make sure that the subject is obvious but you don’t have to center and just shoot a flower. Let it tell a story and don’t be afraid to take a creative risk. Anyone can shoot a flower, but it takes an artist to make it appealing.



Silky Lupine at Hog Falls

Most important of all, just get out there and enjoy Spring before it is gone. We’ve only got a small window of opportunity in the Northwest to enjoy the bountiful wildflowers, seasonal creeks and streams and active wildlife.

Additional info on outdoor opportunities for the region can be found on my adventure blog at LaDuke Adventures.

Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer

As an experienced wedding photographer based in eugene and working out of Spokane I’ve seen all kinds of couples go through the stress of finding the perfect photographer. In writing this blog I hope I can help alleviate some of that stress.  Whether you are doing a low-budget backyard wedding in Cheney or a giant storybook affair on Lake Coeur ‘d Alene with half of the town invited these helpful hints can get you on your way to finding the perfect photographer for your special day.

Finding the right photographer for you on your wedding day is one of the bigger decisions you have to make. After the guests eat the cake and the tux goes back to the rental shop and the flowers have wilted the photos that you display around your home are going to be the most enduring reminders of your wedding day.

What makes choosing the photographer so difficult is that you don’t get to see the finished product before committing. You are paying for a service based on a good feeling. A lot of couples look for a photographer based on price and unfortunately you get what you pay for. Do you really want to trust capturing the most important day of your life to an inexperienced discount photographer when there are no second chances?

Some questions to ask before booking with a photographer include:

  • Experience- What is the experience level of the photographer? Hiring a photographer who is still wet behind the ears my not be the best idea. An experienced photographer will be better prepared to take control and make things run smoothly. Fewer hang ups in the photographer means less stress for you. This way you KNOW they are covering every detail.
  • Packages- What is included in the photographers packages? Are there any additional fees? What ala carte products are available and what is the cost to add products and services?Is there a product you are looking for that is not listed? Ask about it!
  • Pricing- Price shouldn’t be your determining factor on a photographer. The average photographer will cost around 15% of the total wedding budget though so you can use this as a guideline to help determine if someone is in your price range. Also don’t be afraid to barter, most photogs are flexible and offer specials and discounts, make sure to ask!
  • Delivery & Format – Does your photographer offer prints or a disk or both? What about online proofing where family and friends can order prints? How long does it take to get your proofs up and how long will it take to make prints, design and print an album, or ship out a disk with all of the final images?
  • Contract- Make sure your photographer has one! God forbid it come down to it, but if any legal action has to be taken only what is in writing will stand up in court. Also having a contract helps the photographer keep track of what services each couple requests so they can make sure to not miss a single detail.
  • Assistants & Back-up Equipment- The last thing you want to hear from your photographer is that they missed a moment while changing lenses or they are going to have to find another camera or something of that nature because they are not prepared. Make sure you find a photographer who has a back-up with them and who has an assistant or second shooter to help things run as smooth as possible.
  • Scheduling- Do it early, some of the more desirable photographers are booked a year out! As soon as you have a date start contacting photographers to make sure they are available that day. Most photographers only do a limited number of weddings per year to ensure the best quality photos for their clients, by making early contact you can make sure you get the photographer that you want on the day you want.

Planning early and making sure you find the right style of photographer for you, with all of the right attributes will take a load of pressure off of you once it gets to crunch time. Interview all prospective photographers over the phone or in person and make sure they’re going to be someone you can work with between now and your nuptials. The best photographer in the world may still provide undue stress if you don’t mesh properly. Make sure that once you’ve got a candidate you get your deposit in and sign a contract as soon as possible to reserve your date. As a photographer I can tell you certain weekends are far more popular than others for a wedding and a photographer can’t guarantee you that your date is reserved until they have got a contract in their hand.  Good luck!

Wedding Banner

Senior Portrait Tips

Senior Portrait season is just starting and I wanted to post a few suggestions on how to prepare for your senior portrait photo shoot. For most of you it’s the first real photo session you’ve had aside from sitting in front of the camera for that awful yearbook shot that’s been on your ASB card for the last 3 years. Now is your time to shine. You get to express yourself through your photos and say, “This is me!”

This is where the fun starts, as an experienced senior portrait photographer from the Spokane area I have shot many seniors and every shoot is different. We’ve only got an afternoon together for me to get to know you and tailor your photos to express exactly who you are. These aren’t your run of the mill “lean against a tree and smile” photos like your parents sported. You’re guaranteed a superior product that you will look back on fondly for years. In order to make things run smoothly on the day of your shoot there are a few steps you can take ahead of time.


Make a list of what school based activities you want to highlight:

  • Sports, art, band, theater, math team, foreign languages, debate, ROTC, etc are all great. It doesn’t matter what it is, if you are proud of it we want to show case it.

Make a list of outside interests:

  • Biking, boarding, horseback riding, skiing, fashion, building models, cooking, playing video games, walking your dog, volunteer work, church, etc. Whatever defines you as a person is an important element in your portrait session.

Outfit Planning:

  • Keep it simple and classy. Darker colors help slim, white/beige/grey can dominate a photo and make you look ghostly pale. Patterns can be distracting.
  • Plan on bringing at least 3 different tops, jackets or dresses. Bring letter jackets or sports uniforms if you have them.
  • Pay attention to accessories. Sunglasses, bracelets, belts, etc. will make the pictures more personalized.


  • Girls, believe me when I say less is more. Don’t get all glammed up, wear it light and make sure it compliments all of the outfits that you chose.
  • No glitter! In photos it tends to reflect light and create little white spots, same goes for super shiny lip gloss. Stick to matte or transparent face powder to cut that shiny greasy look.


  • Look at your friend’s portraits and yearbook photos from the years before you and   think about the various poses and what interests you. If you see a photo you are really excited about it let me know and we’ll try our best to replicate something similar.
  • If there is a place that is special to you then let me know and we’ll see about shooting there, whether it be an urban setting, your favorite farm, the lake where your family has a cabin or just your favorite park I want the location to be comfortable for you. If you have no preference I have plenty of suggestions as well.

The day before your session & morning of:

  • Drink lots of water to make sure you are hydrated; your skin will thank you.
  • Make sure you are well rested.
  • If you aren’t feeling your best then reschedule, it will reflect in the pictures.
  • Eat a small meal and bring a light snack so you aren’t bloated but aren’t starving.
  • Come ready to have a fun session and make some awesome images.

I know it’s a lot to take in but I will help guide you the whole way to insure that your pictures are amazing and you are proud to show them off for years to come. If you have any questions please contact me and I’ll get back to you in a timely manner. I’m available for portraits anywhere in the greater Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area. If you are outside of the area it never hurts to ask as well because I do travel quite extensively.





Spokane Wedding Photography and Beyond!

Today I am excited to announce that I am expanding my wedding photography coverage area beyond the greater Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area. Now no matter where you are getting married in the Pacific Northwest I’ll be there. My expanded service area now covers anywhere in Washington, Idaho, Oregon or Western Montana. From backyard weddings in Missoula to sunset ceremonies on the beaches of the Olympic Peninsula to the traditional churches of Seattle and beyond I’m going to be able to cover your wedding with the utmost attention to detail no matter where you are located in the Pacific Northwest.

Weddings outside of the greater Spokane/CdA area will incur a small fee to cover my transportation but despite this I’ll still be able to offer you a great product at a competitive price and now I’ll be able to cover you where ever you may roam. Some photographers tack on as much as an extra $3,000 to travel with you but I guarantee my travel fee for wedding photography is Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Western Montana will never exceed $300. There’s no reason for me to be renting a presidential suite at a fancy hotel on your dime.

So why should you choose me? I’m fun and trendy and I’m going to take the stress right out of the photography aspect of your nuptials. Don’t think of me as a wedding expense, think of me as a new friend. I want to be there to capture every precious moment. We’ll work together to map out what is important to you and we’ll get you exactly what you envision without any hidden fees or unnecessary headaches.

Wedding photos are one of the most enduring artifacts of the wedding itself. Think of it this away, aside from your ring and lovely spouse what daily reminders will yoHolly & Kyleu have? Everyone eats the cake, drinks the champagne, and runs off with the fancy centerpieces. His tux goes back to the rental store and your veil isn’t exactly workplace attire, but if you have one of my wedding albums sitting on your coffee table you will have something to show off for years to come. Every time you flip through the pages you’ll be brought back to that most magical day. It’ll be just like you’re living it all over again and I want to help bring back the best memories possible.

So no matter where you’re living and where your ceremony is being held please contact me for a free consultation so we can see what I can do for you. I will not let you down.

Senior Portrait Promotion

Juniors! Want to learn how you can get cheap or even FREE senior portraits?

Hey friends and fans, I am looking for juniors who are a part of the class of 2012 to represent and promote my senior photo packages for the upcoming 2011-12 school year.

What does this mean for you? If you get your photos done early I’ll give you a referral discount ($150 instead of $200, to be paid when you pick up your photos in the fall- unless you meet your referral goals, and then they are free!)

I’ll give you business cards with your photo on one side and my contact information on the other side for you to pass around school. For every person that you refer to me you’ll get $25 off of the cost of your photos up to the cost of your senior portrait package, that’s a $200 value! All you have to do is show your photos to your friends and tell them why they should book a shoot with me.

Anyone can apply but space is limited, I’m only accepting 2 seniors from each area high school. Don’t miss out on this great deal! Shoot me an email and ask if I’ve still got openings at your school.

These are not your boring run of the mill photos of you leaning against a tree or smiling with your arms crossed against a brick wall. I want to capture photos that actually show a bit about who you are. Book with me and we’ll go out and have some fun while taking some awesome shots.

My senior portrait package includes:
-One to two hour session at the location of your choice.
-Unlimited outfit changes.
-Professional retouching (skin smoothing, blemish repair)
-Black and white conversions.
-A disk with 10 or more full size unmarked images for your personal use.
-Prints are available for purchase off of my website or you can feel free to print your own with the disk provided.

Check out my Senior Portrait Gallery or Contact Me

Senior Portrait

Website Improvements & Tough Wedding Decisions

Welcome to my newly improved website! Spring is about to be sprung, birds are singing and the world is waking up from several months of cold, dead weather (at least in Spokane, Washington). The change over to Spring in the Inland Northwest marks the beginning of wedding season. There are floral arrangements, venues and dresses to choose, menus to round out, vows to write, announcements to mail, and of course, selecting the wedding photographer… The person you choose to capture every elegant detail of your nuptials. In an attempt to make choosing the right wedding photographer as smooth and easy as possible,  I’ve made some user-friendly improvements to my website.

Along with the all new home page, new price lists, and more streamlined gallery navigation, comes a renewed determination to be the best photographer I can be. My goal has always been to provide my clients with an elegant and enduring final product that they will cherish and proudly display forever.

No matter what you’re looking for in a photographer, please contact me for a free consultation. I would love to have the chance to be part of your special day, preserving it in a way that will greatly exceed your expectations.