Model for a Day: Avary

“Sass, style, beauty and grace. These portraits captured Avary perfectly and we couldn’t love them more!”

-Jenny, Avary’s Mom

If you are a Savannah native, I am sure you are just as shocked as I am that it is SO HOT already! I mean, it’s usually getting pretty toasty by this time, but it seems like it doesn’t hit the 100’s until later in the summer. To be completely honest, dance sessions are one of the few session types I feel comfortable doing right now. Considering the temps have already soared into the 100’s, it’s just a really tough time for outdoor only portrait sessions.

While working with our dance clients, their safety is our number one priority! The “Model for a Day” photoshoot is the perfect format for summer sessions- it allows us to do outdoor segments in little snippets so the model (and everyone else) doesn’t get too hot. We shoot about 45 minutes in each outfit, and make sure that we find shade as much as possible. Then we head back to the studio, reset, and shoot inside for a bit so everyone can cool down.

The Model for a Day photoshoot is an extended session that was created just for our tween, teen and senior clients with the goal of making them feel like celebrities! It includes a six hour shoot, up to five outfit changes, and three locations. Shea stays on set with us to apply touch-ups as well as change up the hair and makeup as needed. This format allows for great variety in each gallery! From the studio, to the alleyways, to the beach, we are able to capture different facets of each client’s personality!

When we plan these sessions, we begin with the end in mind. The beach at sunset has been a very popular request, so we know that we will wrap the session around 8:15. If we are finishing at the beach, the client generally arrives at 1pm to allow plenty of time for travel!

Avary’s shoot took place right before it got super hot, so we were able to stay outside a bit longer for her outdoor looks- but here is an example of how our Model for a Day shoots go! You can see that you can get variety just by including accessories!

  1. Hair and makeup

  2. Blue leo/jean shorts-  The Lucas Theater & a parking garage

  3. Quick change & a red lip!

  4. Red tutu/leather jacket- Factor’s Walk

  5. Hair change!

  6. Red tutu and bun

  7. Hair and makeup total refresh & cooldown

  8. Cream Tulle- Studio

  9. Pink Tulle- Beauty shot on the beach

  10. Hair change

  11. Rust Dress- Dance portrait on the beach + silhouettes

  12. Wrap!

Avary’s mom shared that the portraits “captured Avary perfectly”- her “sass, style, beauty and grace.” I can’t wait to help design wall-art for Avary’s new room!

Whitney Collins
Debunking the Dirty Hair Myth

I am sure I am not the only one that grew up hearing that dirty hair is easier to style. I’m not sure where this myth originated, but one of the most frequently asked questions we get from clients is when, exactly, they should wash their hair before their shoot. Many clients are shocked when we say to just follow their normal routine, and wash it the same day if that’s where you are in your hair care routine.

Somehow, this dirty hair myth has become the common belief, but y’all, I am here to tell you that it’s time to let this go. (Just to be clear, dirty hair is hair that has had product of any kind in it, has been styled already, or just plain hasn’t been washed for days.)

Myth: Your hair won’t hold an updo if it’s “too clean” because it’s too “slippery.”

Fact:  Professional products used today are made to add texture and “grit” to clean hair allowing your stylist to create the exact look you desire.

If your hair is oily, or already has product in it, the stylist cannot use her products as they need to be used. Trust me on this- your hair will be MORE slippery if it’s oily and it will be less manageable. Your updo will also not have as much volume at the roots, which is a must-have to achieve today’s most popular styles!

Myth: Your hair won’t hold curl if it’s “too clean” because…. (I actually don’t even know what the thinking behind this is)

Fact: Your stylist can add lift and body to clean roots by using professional products. Dirty hair prevents those products from working correctly.

At WCP, we love voluminous hair! We love when the hair is lifted just a bit at the roots so it doesn’t look slicked down to your scalp. We won’t go full on Glamour Shots circa 1993, but Just a little bit of “oomph” goes a long way in the final result of your images. It is not always possible to get “oomph” with dirty hair. Again, your stylist is a pro and she knows what to put in your hair to get it to look perfect! If your hair doesn’t hold curl, we will hit it with the curling iron more frequently, which on-set touch-ups allows us to do!

Myth: Hair that is “too clean” won’t hold a style as long.

Fact: Your hairstyle will last longer with clean hair because it is not weighed down by multiple days of environment and dry shampoo.

Again, we’ve got your back. On-set touch-ups guarantee your look will last!

Myth: I don’t need to wash my hair because the stylist can freshen it up with dry shampoo.

Fact: Y’all, I say this with love, there is only so much dry shampoo can do. While it can absolutely get you through that third day pony before you just HAVE to wash it, it cannot turn dirty hair into a camera-ready style

So WHEN should you actually wash your hair?

We are here to help you look and feel your best! We want your imagery to live up to your expectations and this starts with how you prepare for your shoot. To help make this easier, we are now offering a blow-dry before your shoot so that professional product can be added while your hair is wet. Seriously, all you need to do is hop in the shower, wash and condition your hair, moisturize your face, and come our way!

We can’t wait to see you soon!



Whitney Collins
The Five Love Languages
Image Credit: Country Living Magazine

Image Credit: Country Living Magazine

When I first read The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, by Dr. Gary Chapman, it rocked my world. Seriously- it was such a succinct explanation of the different ways that people need to be loved. I didn’t realize that often, the way that we love others is a direct reflection of how we crave to be loved! (Mind. Blown.) If you haven’t read the book, it’s a pretty quick read, and I am telling you, your relationship with your partner (and yourself) will be better for it! Chapman has also written a book that applies the love language research to relationships with your children!

I was thinking about the Mother’s Day Portrait Promotion and how portrait sessions really are the perfect gift- whether you are treating yourself, or someone else, our process ensures that we touch all five love languages. No matter who is participating, the experience will add fuel to their love tank! It just doesn’t get better than that!

Let me explain this a little further.

  1. Time Spent: Let’s face it- it’s rare that we get uninterrupted time with our families. Most of us balance a pretty busy schedule, and let’s not even get started on the impact of technology on relationships. A portrait session gives a family a window of time where there are no distractions. Everyone is together in one place, the cellphones are put away, and you can just enjoy the company of those that matter the most!

  2. Physical Touch: We encourage you to hold your loved ones a little closer during your session- lean in to your spouse, let your littles snuggle up beside you, wrap your mom in a hug. We will direct you through poses that capture your connection in a beautiful and authentic way.

  3. Words of Affirmation: You will hear nothing but positive and kind words during your session, and we encourage you to use this time to spread the love as well! A lot of care goes into the preparation of each session- the ladies have been pampered with hair and makeup and everyone’s clothing has been selected with care. Everyone brings their best self to photoshoots- what a great day for an extra compliment!

  4. Acts of Service: Fellas, this one's for you. Simply booking this experience for the special people in your life is a big deal. We know that portrait sessions aren’t always your idea of fun, but we appreciate it when you recognize just how important this experience is and you participate whole-heartedly.

  5. Gifts: We have a full line of beautiful products that will perfectly capture your day spent together! From handcrafted albums, to custom wall-art, we have something that will suit every taste!

Mother’s Day is in a few short days- give yourself, or the special woman in your life, the gift of portraits. Give the gift of pampering, of time spent. Give the experience of a lifetime! For more information, click here.

Want to learn more about love languages? Start with this free quiz!



Whitney Collins
The Process

Generally, what you get to see is the final product, but what you don’t see is all of the hours that go into making a custom portrait session happen.

I am going to walk you through our process using Blair and Sarah Kate’s sessions as an example!

9/21/18: Ellen, Blair and Sarah Kate’s mom, reached out to me to book a session.

9/25/18: Ellen came in for the initial consult. She told me about Blair and Sarah Kate, what they were interested in, and I showed her the products we offer.

October is the beginning of the Family Portrait busy season, so the session date was set for November! It is always a good idea to go ahead and get a date on the calendar, even if you need additional time to prepare for your session! We generally book about two months out!

11/2/18: I met with the Southerlands at their home for the style & wardrobe consult! The four of us sat at their kitchen table and had a brainstorming session to determine what the shoots would look like. We decided to do two different dates so that Sarah Kate and Blair would both have adequate time during their photoshoot. I always say that the sky’s the limit- Blair was the first to put that to the test! I knew it was going to take some creativity to bring his ideas to life… Sarah Kate’s ideas were just as big, although maybe not as abstract. We wanted their sessions to be cohesive, yet represent who they are as individuals. Ellen was prepared to go big to give her kids the sessions of their dreams!

Sarah Kate and Blair Dance

Sarah Kate’s session was scheduled for 11/20 and Blair’s Session was scheduled for 11/30. We had less than a month to start pulling together the details of the shoot. During the next few weeks, we were in touch with Blair and Sarah Kate via Instagram sending them inspiration images and honing in on what their shoot would look like. Sometimes we would send them ideas and they would tell us “no” and we’d be back to the drawing board. I can’t tell you how many calls and texts were exchanged between Shea and I as we worked to bring their visions to life in the studio. Shea made a floral headpiece for Sarah Kate’s fairy concept, I painted Sarah Kate’s pointe shoes red, and we continued to discuss Blair’s high-fashion, all-white concept. We played with themes of darkness and light, of finding your voice, and breaking down stereotypes.

11/20/18- Sarah Kate’s session was a dream! Shea found the PERFECT spot for her outdoor portraits which included a tree in full bloom with pink flowers. I am clearly not a botanist, but it seemed like a rare find to me- it was such a beautiful backdrop!

11/30/18- Blair’s session was also a dream! All I can say is magic happened on this day- there was a moment in the studio when Shea and I just knew that what we were doing was bigger than portraits.

The high-fashion concept took a bit longer than we thought it would, so we decided to extend the session to a second day.


I have NEVER experienced so much rain in Savannah in “winter.” Between the constant rain, and Blair’s involvement in holiday shows for dance, it felt like we were never going to find a date to finish the session. We squeezed him in the last working week of 2018- and we just had to make do with the puddles!

Blair Dance

After the sessions, the selected images went out to our retoucher and the ordering appointment was scheduled. The creative process was finished with an album designed especially for the Southerlands. I know they will cherish those images for a lifetime!

The process is long, the hours are countless, but we give each session all we’ve got. I have to say that my favorite part is the friendships that we developed with our clients.! It’s amazing how it feels to become part of a community, and the Savannah dance community has welcomed us with open arms. This is just the beginning of our journey and we can’t wait to keep bringing you our best!

Whitney CollinsComment
Shea's Tween Makeup Recommendations

Wearing makeup is definitely a right of passage. I can remember when I was finally (haha) allowed to wear makeup. Let’s just say I wish a tween makeup class would have been around back then! Whew, I am sure many of you can relate…

The focus of the makeup parties is educating tweens on what each suggested product does, and providing tips for application. So far, the parties have been a huge success! In order to keep the cost of the parties low, Shea selected budget-friendly products to be used as demo makeup. For most little ladies, this will be exactly what they need! However, if you are looking to invest in higher-end products, here is what Shea suggests!




Eye-Shadow Palettes

High-End: and/or

Mid-Range: and/or





Setting Spray




Whitney Collins
Maternity | Alanna
Pregnancy Portrait| Alanna

There is just something about a studio maternity session. Perhaps what I love the most about it is the variety we are able to get within each session. From backlight to soft light, we cover so much ground during these sessions. I find that when you are out on location, you are at the mercy of the elements, but in the studio, we have complete control over the light (and the temperature, and the bugs, lol).

Alanna’s maternity session was a dream. I love the simplicity of her gallery. I suppose this is what many would call “boudoir maternity,” but honestly, I feel this is how maternity sessions should be styled. The focus is on Alanna and her pregnancy. She looks regal, elegant and in her full power. The clothes add a bit of edge, or a bit of softness, but don’t take away from shot- these are portraits of a woman and her journey to motherhood.

I cannot wait to meet her little guy in just a few weeks!


Whitney Collins