Tag Archives: Doug Cohen

An Urban Senior Photo Junket With Jon In Birmingham!

A junket is defined as “an extravagant trip or celebration, in particular one enjoyed by a government official at public expense”.  Well, our urban junket with Jon was a celebration for sure – even if it wasn’t official government business!    Birmingham has some of our favorite spots and even though we sometimes contrast Pontiac and Birmingham as “grungy vs. cosmopolitan” we can still find some gritty locales in Birmingham too.

Meanwhile Jon is a great kid – the weather was a little windy and chilly but he handled it like a pro.  We’ve known Jon’s family for a few years now but we hadn’t really spent much time with him before his session, and we found him to be a really nice guy!  So let’s get to some photos shall we?

A Senior Photo Junket With Jon…

We met up together in Birmingham and started shooting, and the first photo we are sharing is with a background that we often present in black and white – it just works…

Senior Photo Junket

Cool right?

Now let’s switch to full color as we explore some alleyways…

Senior Photo Junket

Now let’s take a fun behind the scenes look at the day with this vine that we posted:

Fun right?  Now let’s take another view of the alleyway segment of the session before we switch it up again with this full length photo of the whole scene…

Senior Photo Junket

At this point we made a location switch and headed to a secluded area where we knew we could get this photo through a fence.  We do this once in a while and it always makes for a dramatic image.  What do you think?

Senior Photo Junket

Love that one, and it’s a good one to finish on for now!  We hope you enjoyed our urban senior photo junket with Jon!  We certainly had fun on location with him!

Doug’s Rant – Image Quality ISN’T Everything On Instagram (and more)

Yes it’s that time again… time to RANT.  I have 4 basic topics to cover so let’s get to it.

Rosh Sillars tweeted the link to an article about Instagram this morning written by Andrew Hutchinson for Social Media Today which I thought was good.  You should read it.  Now while I do NOT disagree completely with the idea that image quality is everything for certain strategies on Instagram, I do disagree with this as an overall statement.  So those of you who know me will know that I feel the need to respectfully present the counterpoint in the spirit of healthy debate.

Three reasons image quality isn’t required on instagram:

  1. Think about the name of the app – INSTAgram.  The “Insta” in Instagram implies an instant and spontaneous sharing of photos made right from your iPhone.  Granted you can post images that aren’t taken with your iPhone but the app is clearly designed with that in mind with the basic camera and editing interface in the app.  Many brands post professionally crafted and edited images on Instagram with a ton of attention to detail to the author’s point and it works for them.  But sometimes when you capture something fun and immediate you might not have it set up for perfection, and that’s actually what can make an Instagram perfect.  I would take it a step further and say that even as a photography studio our strategy on Instagram is typically not to show off our finished work here but to rather bring people behind the scenes and have fun, which leads me to number two…

    Image quality

    NOT a professional photo!

  2. Instagram is social.  Perfect art might not always be.  A collage or a funny incident can tell a story or start a conversation – an interesting one.  A perfect photo can too I suppose, but when you go to an exhibition or art museum they don’t hang a white board with a marker under the display for people to engage and leave comments.  Tell a story and have fun with your followers and don’t always worry about the quality of the photo.  To borrow something that Mark Shaw (one of my favorite Periscopers) might say, it’s not Autogram – don’t just broadcast perfection at people to show top quality.  Now don’t post total garbage either, but keep the focus on being fun and social.
  3. There is a ceiling on how awesome your images can be for your following because of the platform.  Many people are looking at these images on an iPhone.  Is that really the best way to see a professional photo?  It’s not a bad way per se, it’s just not the best way.  An EZ Bake oven isn’t the best way to bake a top notch cake, but it could be the most fun cake of your life if you do it with a child.  Our clients come to our studio to get images to hang as their centerpiece on a wall – not just to look at on their iPhone.  So once again – don’t always worry about the quality.  You typically can’t show off the very best of a quality photo on an iPhone.

Okay moving on…

Why I Don’t Like Email Lists

This is another one I go against the grain on.  I do not like email lists.  I’ve never sent out regular email newsletters or tried to build an email list of clients.  I’m not saying they don’t work, I’m just not interested in sending emails to clients.  Email has been around since well before social media existed, but it’s done on a computer or some other electronic device so it’s not as old school as say, junk mail, so let’s call it “post-old school”.  I suspect it works largely as a numbers game – not because getting another email is sooooo awesome.

Will YouTube come back for brands?

I’ve been posting more video to YouTube since I started Periscoping.  I like to repurpose some of my scopes and upload some of my tips to our YouTube channel.  It has led me to hang out on YouTube with a renewed sense of purpose as a brand, and I’ve connected with people on Periscope who are doing the same.  When I went back to the channels and brands I had subscribed to before I saw that many of them hadn’t posted anything in months, but I think this could change…  Just my guess – this is one where I’m just wondering aloud.  This is a whole other topic in itself on ways to effectively build your brand on YouTube which I’m exploring in new ways now.  I’ll keep you posted.  What are your thoughts on this?  Do you subscribe to channels and organize your YouTube channel with playlists?  As an individual?  As a brand?  Are you social there?  Subscribe to our channel and let’s connect!

Image Quality

Yes I’m slightly addicted to Periscope

Of course it comes back to the game-changing monster that is Periscope.  I wrote a post for MCP Actions about 5 very specific ways you can use Periscope for your photography studio… and I also wrote a post here about what you need to know about Periscope (so far) back in April.  At this point I’m totally hooked – I’ve built some great relationships in ways I never did before on any other platform.  I notice however that many people still don’t know what it is yet and haven’t given it a try, so I think I’ll be writing another post soon about what you can accomplish with Periscope.  The people who aren’t early adopters might want to know what the “why” is…  While I’m at it I may write one about who you should follow there.

That’s it for now – I’d love to hear your comments on this whether you agree or not.  Thanks for reading and join me on Periscope where we can discuss these further!

Frameable Flashbacks! – Our Very First Intern Kim!

It has been a while since we have done a Frameable Flashback – kind of our version of “Where are they now?” with our former seniors!  The best part of photographing high school seniors for us is the relationships we have with them which continue to grow after they graduate.  It’s a thrill to follow their accomplishments and with several of our 2011 seniors graduating this Spring it’s time to check in with a couple of them and see what they are up to.

Meeting Quiet Shy Kim…

When Kim Savin first came to the studio for her senior consultation she was painfully shy!  She barely said a word!  Her fun personality started to come through a little by the time we went on location to Cranbrook where she attended (the only time you can photograph a senior at Cranbrook is if they attend there).  She had a great session and here is a highlight:

Intern Kim

Corrupting Intern Kim – hehe….

We were pleasantly surprised when we got a call in the Spring of Kim’s senior year asking if we would take her on as an intern as part of a school sponsored senior project, and Kim spent three weeks here at the studio with us.  We’ve always joked that we took such a sweet, demure, and innocent girl and totally corrupted her!  She was awesome to have around the studio and we’ve stayed in touch with her ever since – following her life at Vanderbilt and overseas in Spain.  She even made us paella once!

Present Day Hanging Out With Friend Kim!

So here we are 4 years later and she’s graduating college which is really hard to believe…  that flew by!  She visited us yesterday and true to form (she never knows what she’s in for when she stops by) we put her on the spot for a Frameable Flashback!

Intern Kim

Frameable Faces:  So tell us what you’re up to these days Kim?

Kim:  I graduated from Vanderbilt University a couple weeks ago. I’m home now for a few weeks and then I’m moving back to Nashville. In Nashville, I’m going to spend my days working at the Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt doing psychology research, and my nights and weekends taking advantage of Nashville’s live music scene and continuing to sample all of the barbecue the South has to offer.

Frameable Faces:  That is amazing!  And what about the future?  What are your plans?

Kim:  I hope to work for a few years and then do some traveling before going to graduate school for clinical psychology. In the long term I want to be a research psychologist, ideally at a university in a lively city with my family, warm weather, and a Spanish-speaking community that I could work with.

Frameable Faces:  Tell us – what was the most memorable part of your Frameable Faces experience?

Kim:  The most memorable part of my Frameable Faces experience was interning here for a few weeks at the end of my senior year of high school.  Not only did I learn so much about “mall life” and the photography business, but you and Ally also taught me a few life lessons, often involving some colorful new vocabulary.   It was so much fun for me to intern at Frameable Faces and I always look forward to coming back to visit! 🙂

We will always look forward to it too!  We are so proud of and excited for Kim and this new chapter in her life!

Photographing The Fantastic Family Of An Old Friend!

Here we are with back-to-back family sessions on back-to-back days with back-to-back blog posts!!!  Say that five times fast…  Meanwhile this is another fantastic one and in both cases we’ve known the dad of the family outside of the studio so we were excited when they called us to photograph their families.  Ally has known Larry from yesterday’s post for a couple years, but I have known Mike from today’s post for about……..40 YEARS!

Going back a ways…

Yes Mike and I go back almost to the beginning to Forest Elementary School and Rolling Oaks / Wedgewood Commons which was the greatest neighborhood, and it was the greatest time to grow up there.  It’s always a little surreal to have someone’s family here that you go that far back with.  Meanwhile Mike has done really well in the family department – his wife is a sweetheart and his boys are great!  So let’s get to the photos!

Fantastic Family

Everything has been blooming which makes for great location shots and the weather held up nicely – we had a mix of clouds to contend with here and there which made for some light changes but we were prepared!

Next we have a great shot of the boys!  Birmingham is nice because you have access to green and brick for a little of both…

Fantastic Family


Okay let’s take a look at our behind the scenes vine of the day – possibly the most epic vine from a family session we’ve ever posted!

Note the #AbbeyRoad hashtag.  Haha!

Fantastic Family

So maybe we played in the street a little….  it was totally blocked off so we can assure you no laws were broken nor clients harmed in the making of this next image.

Fantastic Family

One more shot as we bring it back to a nice moment between the happy couple…

Fantastic Family

So there it is!  A fantastic family indeed!  We hope you enjoyed the highlights from our morning with them!

Senior Pictures With Style, Beauty, and Elle-gance!

Our session with Elle definitely produced senior pictures with style, beauty, and Elle-gance!!!  This was technically our fourth time photographing Elle – once with her family a couple years ago, once for her spokesmodel session, once for the mural in our window (sometimes I forget to count that) and now her senior pictures!  Anticipation for this session was high, and Elle certainly delivered!

To Heritage Park We Go…

Heritage Park served a couple of purposes on this day.  Not only is it a fantastic park with many obvious and hidden treasures for a photographer, but for Elle it was a safe distance away to keep her out of range for the Detroit Country Day water wars (haha).  Her mom joined us for the session and we had a blast!  So let’s get started – I believe this is the first time we’ve used this wooden door in the stone wall that we love:


A little side note here – very often we feature both full length and close up photos of our seniors, but these are all full length of Elle because Ally said she just looked so cute and coordinated with her outfits she felt the full length showed off the whole look!


For this session we spent the whole time outdoors which is a nice change especially at Heritage Park.  It gives us a chance to really explore.  The blossoms framing this photo and the backlight on Elle’s hair really come together nicely here…


Let’s take a look at the first vine from this session… yes a session so nice we vined it twice!

You can see from the vines we used a number of different spots for this session many of which we won’t get to here…  But a shot like this next one is just undeniable even if we didn’t vine it:


Now for vine number two!

So fun!  Okay now one last shot…


So there it is – style, beauty and Elle-gance!  We hope you enjoyed these highlights from our morning with Elle!


Brad’s Senior Session Definitely BLUE Us Away!

We were pretty excited when Brad’s mom Stefany brought him here for senior pictures because we go way way back with his family – for me personally it’s about 35 years!  Brad is a really nice kid and an impressive guy.  He’ll be attending The University of Michigan in the fall and it’s always cool when your high school colors match your college ones this closely!

Go Blue…

This session “blue” us away since the predominant color is blue – Brad brought his Detroit Country Day navy blue and gold baseball gear which helped bring out his blue eyes for these pictures.  So let’s take a look at a few of them shall we?

First we started out on location which we do for all morning location sessions since we like to catch the sun lower in the sky for lighting purposes, and our conditions were great…


Nice shot huh?  We did one shirt change for the location part and grabbed a few more shots before we headed back to the studio.  Here’s one of them:


Let’s take a look at our behind the scenes vine of our day before we take it back to the studio…

Back to the studio…

We got some great stuff on location so it was time to head back to the studio.  We love the combo you see in the vine with the khakis and the baseball gear (note the shirt and Michigan tie under the jersey) – here’s a great one with the cap turned around.  Fun!


We’ll leave you with one more with this pensive and dramatic close up in black and white.  Check it out…


So there you have it!  Another fantastic senior session as we start winding down on the class of 2015 and start gearing up for the class of 2016!  Best of luck to Brad and we hope you all enjoyed the highlights from his session!

Super Mario And His Super Spokesmodel Session!

Some blog post titles just write themselves….

Super Mario!!!

Yes this kid is one of a kind.  We had been following each other on Instagram for a while from afar and when we reached out to Mario to discuss representing our studio as a spokesmodel he was totally prepped and ready.  He knew our other spokesmodels already and was pretty well versed on our studio and how we roll.  What an impressive young man.  Personable and funny, we had an absolute blast on his spokesmodel session!

We Periscoped some of his session live and people were tuning in – especially for the “Super Mario” segment which was really just a tease for his senior session coming later this year.  So stay tuned for that!  Meanwhile let’s get to the photos shall we?  We started off in the studio with some soccer in Mario’s West Bloomfield High School gear and some fire…

Super Mario

Fierce!  Laker Nation represent!

Next up was the “Super Mario” segment of the session where Mario came prepared with his Super Mario shirt!  Hilarious…  We even put on the Super Mario music while we broadcasted live and people were cracking up.

Super Mario

As of the writing of this post the behind the scenes vines of Mario’s session are not linking to twitter which means I’ve been unable to pull one into this post for your viewing pleasure….  I encourage you strongly to go to our Vine page by either downloading the app to your smartphone and following us or going directly to our page online by clicking the link www.vine.co/frameablefaces.  At that point you’ll see two vines of Mario because I tried it twice to try to get it to tweet…

Heading to the city…

We like the urban look from time to time and sometimes we like it gritty.  We don’t mean that as a slam on Pontiac – actually we love downtown Pontiac.  It just has a bit of a different aesthetic than downtown Birmingham for example.  So Pontiac is where we headed…

Super Mario

Love that shot in black and white…

We’ll leave you with one more with a pose that Ally loves, and we had great lighting on this one:

Super Mario

Cool right?  Mario is a cool guy and we couldn’t be more excited to have him on board representing our studio for the class of 2016!  We hope you enjoyed these highlights from our day with him!

Twin Sister Senior Time Part Two – Cierra’s Turn!

Welcome to part TWO of twin sister senior time!  If you joined us yesterday you saw part one of this beautiful twin sister senior photo session which focused on Tierra, and today as promised we are flipping it!  Today we’ll be featuring Cierra with a special return guest appearance by Tierra in a photo of them twinning on location!

I wrote at length yesterday about how fun it is to be with twins and now I’m thinking about another fun benefit of working with twins – we get to blog about them twice which gives us an excuse to show off more of the session!

Twin Sister Senior Time Part Two…

So let’s start now again in the studio since that’s what we did with the girls…  I’m a fan of this first shot of Cierra because it’s unique – Ally likes to capture this pose frequently highlighting our senior’s eyelashes.  Cierra looks beautiful…

Twin Sister Senior Time Part Two

This next outfit still on the black background is fun with the cute hat for this playful pose!

Twin Sister Senior Time Part Two

Now let’s take a look at the behind the scenes vine highlighting Cierra from our day:

Let’s head back outside…

Let’s now bring Tierra back in and take a look at another photo of the twins together at the entrance to one of our favorite bridges, although technically it’s a platform I guess since it ends and doesn’t lead to the other side…  ha.

Twin Sister Senior Time Part Two

Love that photo, and let’s take a look at a “bonus” vine of the twins together!

Okay back to a couple more with Cierra…

Twin Sister Senior Time Part Two

Love that serious pose and the backlight on her hair!  And one more full length for the road…

Twin Sister Senior Time Part Two

So that will do it – we hope you’ve enjoyed both of these posts highlighting the twins.  We certainly had fun working with them!

Twin Sister Senior Time – First With Tierra!

We love twins – no really we love twins!  They have a special bond and senior pictures are so much fun and such a big milestone.  So when any senior comes in for pictures it’s a big deal and it’s one of the things we love most about our “jobs”, but with twins we get to spend a full 5+ hours with them which gives us a window into their relationship that makes for a memorable day every time.

Twin Sister Senior Time…

Tierra and Cierra were no exception, and they are North Farmington Raiders to boot so as Raiders ourselves we were pretty excited for this session.  Beautiful girls, beautiful mom and they were a blast to be with!  So today we are going to feature photos of Tierra along with a guest appearance by Cierra and then tomorrow we’ll flip it!  Let’s start in the studio with Tierra on the black backdrop…

Twin Sister Senior

With this shot we actually can’t remember for sure but I think we had the fan going on Tierra’s hair but only slightly – just to give it a little lift.  Gorgeous…

While we’re on the black background let’s bring in Cierra for a black and white close crop of these beauties together!

Twin Sister Senior

Next we’ll take a look at Tierra on the red couch against the new red background – this is the first time we’ve done this pairing and we love the result:

Twin Sister Senior

Next we’ll take a look at the highlights of Tierra’s shoot on our behind the scenes vine:

Let’s head outside…

We had a perfect day for this session which was nice and we went to one of our favorite nature preserves for these next couple photos:

Twin Sister Senior

And we’ll end for today on this one…

Twin Sister Senior

So there you have it – twin senior sister time part one!  We hope you enjoyed Tierra’s pictures and be sure to return tomorrow for part two with Cierra!

Playing It Kool With Kyliel On His Senior Session!

Playing it kool with Kyliel is just what we did when he came to the studio for his senior pictures.  He is a unique kid in a good way – soft spoken, plenty of style and a great look.  He came in with his grandmother who is just a sweetheart and she told us his story – this young man has overcome plenty of obstacles and for his family they look at him as a real life Superman!  Indeed, Superman’s given name by his parents on Krypton was Kal-El – pretty close right?  With Kyliel we planned an all-studio session which is nice.  We’ve explained this before, but it bears repeating that while the majority of our senior sessions combine indoor and on-location photos, the sessions which are all one or the other are a nice change of pace because we get to thoroughly explore one or the other.

So let’s get to our kool session with Kyliel!

Red hair, red background – exploding off the screen…

So first we pulled out our new red background which we have pretty much been obsessed with since we got it.  Kyliel has great hair – just a great red tint that looks so cool and we love this shot:

Playing It Kool

Kool – right?  Love it.  Next we went for the formal GQ look which Kyliel rocked quite well…

Playing It Kool

Let’s pause for a second to go behind the scenes of the shot above with a vine of the action…

Playing It Kool – real Kool

I love what Ally did with this next shot…  it speaks for itself.

Playing It Kool

Lastly we’ll leave you with one more as Kyliel represents Laker Nation with his West Bloomfield gear!

Playing It Kool

So now you understand what I mean when I say we were playing it kool with Superman Kyliel!  We loved his session and we hope you enjoyed the highlights!