Teresa Castracane Photography: Blog https://www.teresacastracane.com/blog en-us (C) Teresa Castracane Photography (Teresa Castracane Photography) Fri, 02 Dec 2022 16:22:00 GMT Fri, 02 Dec 2022 16:22:00 GMT https://www.teresacastracane.com/img/s/v-12/u394469559-o23043530-50.jpg Teresa Castracane Photography: Blog https://www.teresacastracane.com/blog 90 120 What is the Empowered Girl Experience? https://www.teresacastracane.com/blog/2020/1/what-is-the-empowered-girl-experience Empowering girls sounds like a great idea.  But how does the Empowered Girl Experience put that idea into practice?

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The Empowered Girl Experience seeks to remind girls of who they are, and of the irreplaceable guidance of their own hearts and minds. Using a methodology with foundations in the Socratic Method, Empowered Girl Ambassadors show girls how to look for answers within themselves, and to trust that their own ideas and insights can change the world.

The Empowered Girl Experience consists of an interview with me that helps girls connect with themselves, and inspires them to dream big, and set goals. Once the girls have acknowledged their strengths and weaknesses, we then brainstorm ideas for overcoming some of the things that challenge them. Our topics of conversation might include school, family, relationships, and anything that the girls are passionate about.

Next, we move into a photography experience that helps girls connect with different facets of their personalities. We want girls to know that it's okay to present themselves one way in the classroom, and another way on the sports field or in the dance studio. In preparation, I coach the girls in wardrobe selection, which opens a discussion about the control they have over how they're seen in the world by others.  This is a first step towards teaching them to be responsible with their image on social media and elsewhere.  Together, during the shoot, we'll create portrait-style images, and images that celebrate her favorite extracurricular activity.

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After the photography experience comes the big reveal! The girls view the images, and hear some of their own words and ideas from the Experience Day Interview. We'll discuss how elements from lighting, to posing, to a simple tilt of the head, can change the entire emotion and message of an image. In the extracurricular images, girls are able to see evidence of some of their strengths and weaknesses. This has proven to be especially beneficial for dancers, gymnasts, and anyone involved in an activity that relies on strong physical technique.

Finally, I'll help the girls find images that are reflective of who they are at their core, and how they want to be seen in the world. Our goal is for girls to leave this experience with beautiful portraits of themselves.  These can be displayed in their rooms as a reminder, every morning, of how amazing they felt, and how fabulous they are. To keep them inspired, the girls are also given a one-year membership to our online platform for girls, The Empowered Girl App.  This gives them continuing access to ideas, stories, and tools that will reinforce everything they've discovered in the Empowered Girl Experience. 023_Liz, Maisie, Clara023_Liz, Maisie, Clara

To give your daughter the gift of the Empowered Girl Experience, book her session today!

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(Teresa Castracane Photography) https://www.teresacastracane.com/blog/2020/1/what-is-the-empowered-girl-experience Fri, 10 Jan 2020 12:55:10 GMT
What to Do, What to Do? Terrific Activities for Your Family Photo Shoot https://www.teresacastracane.com/blog/2019/10/what-to-do-what-to-do-terrific-activities-for-your-family-photo-shoot The best way I know to stop a conversation dead in its tracks is to ask a new client what activity they'd like to do for their Family Photojournalism session.  Their breath stops, their eyes go wide, and they're suddenly unable to remember that they've ever interacted with their family, even one time, ever before in their lives.

Committing to a specific activity is the key to capturing the authentic emotions and relationships of your lives together.  But the choice is not always easy!

So here's help!

Let's break it down.


The Classics

When in doubt, or if this is your first photo shoot in the documentary style, you can't go wrong with one of these.  They're full of sweetness, every one, and details that will tug at your heart when the children are grown.

  • morning cuddle in the biggest bed
  • Saturday morning pancakes 021_Blythe_Artisan Edit021_Blythe_Artisan Edit
  • baking cookies (or any other favorite dessert)
  • bath time, with bubbles if you like
  • your bedtime routine


The Slice of Life

It's in these simple, close-to-home activities that documentary photography does some of its best work, revealing personalities and relationships just as they are from day to day.

  • folding laundry
  • giving haircuts
  • washing the car


The Seasonal

Perfect for any beloved annual tradition. DF1_7283DF1_7283

  • carving pumpkins
  • lighting the menorah
  • dyeing Easter eggs
  • celebrating Holi with colored powder
  • trimming the Christmas tree
  • playing in piles of autumn leaves


The Creative Masterpiece

Immortalize your amazing creations!  And the fun you had making them.

  • playing dress-up
  • making the greatest Lego construction ever seen
  • practicing the violin
  • making something - anything: paper snowflakes, rag blankets, bracelets, a pillow fort...you name it


The Sweet & Low

Sometimes the quiet times are the most tender. 022_Jennifer, Joel, & Hayes, bw022_Jennifer, Joel, & Hayes, bw

  • reading a favorite book
  • making daisy chains
  • working in the garden


The Wild Child

Release their inner wild thing for a high-energy, unforgettable day.

  • blowing bubbles
  • playing with silly string
  • warrior face painting and Nerf sword battles
  • flying a kite
  • playing any sport at all


The Adventurers

Get out into the world and see what happens!

  • take a picnic to the park
  • visit the Lincoln Memorial
  • hike in a beautiful place
  • explore the National Arboretum
  • sell lemonade at a stand on the corner
  • go up in a hot-air balloon


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There are as many different ways to do a Family Photojournalism shoot as there are families.  Capture your family's routine to remember for a lifetime.  Or capture a day of delight and discovery.  As long as your family will enjoy being together, you really can't go wrong.  When you're engaged with each other instead of posing for the camera, everyone will feel more relaxed. We'll capture authentic interactions, and authentic love, in a set of photographs that your family will treasure forever. 



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(Teresa Castracane Photography) https://www.teresacastracane.com/blog/2019/10/what-to-do-what-to-do-terrific-activities-for-your-family-photo-shoot Thu, 03 Oct 2019 14:02:00 GMT
Behind the Scenes: Photo Session Playlist: The Down Side https://www.teresacastracane.com/blog/2019/9/behind-the-scenes-photo-session-playlist-the-down-side  

013_AuntJjana bw013_AuntJjana bw Almost everybody gets a little nervous during a photo shoot.

One thing that's good for mellowing out is an easy-on-the-ears soundtrack.

The links below are snippets of some of my favorites.  Ready to dive in to the entire playlist?  Click here.



1. Gabe Dixon, "All Will Be Well"
When Gabe tells me everything's gonna be all right, well, I just believe him.

2. Madeleine Peyroux, "Don't Wait Too Long"

Man, this is lying-in-bed-on-a-Sunday-morning cool.  If you don't know Madeleine Peyroux, do yourself a favor and check out this entire album.


3. Old 97s, "Question"

Sometimes, songs about happy things sound a little bit sad.

4. Mike Doughty, "Fort Hood"

Mellow song with a little groove to it.


Let the sunshine in.

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5. Sea Wolf, "Middle Distance Runner"

The cello line alone makes this song for me.

Also good:

"you'll have to run to me tonight

tonight I will love you forever

but I'll only ever be

a middle distance runner"


6. David Wax Museum, "Every Time Katie"

One of many songs that I like because they sound like they were written for my sister.

(Hi Katie)

7. The Weepies, "Ever Said Goodbye"

I've only just discovered this band.  But every song I've heard from them so far has been a tiny gem.


8. Mipso, "People Change"

Is this song too sad?  Maybe it's too sad.  But there you have it.




9. The Magnetic Fields, "All My Little Words"

The Magnetic Fields are one of those bands whose songs other musicians love to cover.  But I'm starting to love them for their own sake.


10. Josh Rouse, "Quiet Town"

The man who's now my husband introduced me to the music of Josh Rouse..

(It's not the reason I married him.)

You could drop into Josh Rouse anywhere in his body of work and find excellent songs. Here's one.

12. Josh Ritter, "You Don't Make It Easy Babe"

Josh Ritter is the Josh that I introduced my husband to.

(Marriage is all about balance.)

He's a poet as much as a songwriter.


14. Greg Brown, "The Way My Baby Calls My Name"

This might be a bit groovier than the others.  But it's terrific, and nobody's more chill than Greg Brown.

Mmm, I love my mellow playlist.  It makes for a relaxed, happy shoot.

Have some chill-out music that you love?  Bring it with you and we'll chill out together. :)


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(Teresa Castracane Photography) https://www.teresacastracane.com/blog/2019/9/behind-the-scenes-photo-session-playlist-the-down-side Wed, 04 Sep 2019 19:07:26 GMT
Behind the Scenes: Photo Session Playlist: The Up Side https://www.teresacastracane.com/blog/2019/8/behind-the-scenes-photo-session-playlist-the-up-side  

007_Diane007_Diane When I was young and tender, entire friendships were made or broken based on what radio station you listened to.  Sad story: I'm a li'l insecure about my music choices.  But, I love my studio playlist so much, I'm ready to share!

Don't judge.

These links are just snippets.  Ready to dive in to the whole playlist? Click here, and rock out.

And now, some great songs for lifting the energy in the room.


1. Lake Street Dive, "You Go Down Smooth"
Oh my god.  I just discovered this song, and I can't stop listening to it.

Pour yourself a stiff one and enjoy.

2. The Avett Brothers, "Kick Drum Heart"

So sweet and drummy and groovy.


3. King Charles, "Mississippi Isabel"

Cutest, jauntiest little song in the universe.  When my then-5-year-old heard the lyrics, he said, "But Mommy, that's SAD!!!!"

She kissed me once / I took her out for lunch / and she never kissed me again

Too true, Hal, too true.  But if this song doesn't make you feel happy, I'll eat my hat.


4. Moon Hooch, "Number 9"

The way the story goes, the excellent Mike Doughty discovered this band playing on a subway platform in New York City, and took them on tour with him.  Which is how my family discovered The World's Greatest Instrumental Song to Rock Out To.



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5. CeeLo Green, "Forget You"

An obvious choice, perhaps.  But it does what it came here to do.

6.  Bill Withers, "Use Me"

The first time I heard this song, I couldn't believe I hadn't known it all my life.

7. Hanson, "MMMBop"

'Member that time when I said, "Don't judge me?"  That might come in handy right about now.


8. Florence & the Machine, "Shake It Out"

This came out in, say, 2011, and I heard it for the first time last month.  Guess I was busy raising babies or something.

This is my kind o' thing.


9. Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"

I knew a whole cadre of middle-aged women who were groovin' in their kitchens to this one when it came out.

Guessing we weren't the only ones.

10. Kate Nash, "Pumpkin Soup"

I never heard of this artist before or since, but that Spotify algorithm did the trick for me.


12. Spoon, "The Underdog"

Terrific, where's-the-downbeat chord progression in the chorus here.


14. Justin Timberlake, "Can’t Stop the Feeling"

Happiness!  Happiness!!  Love! Love! Love!  And dancing!!!!!!

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I love my studio playlist!  And my clients love it too.  It's part of how we keep the shoot fun and happy.

Got your own great music you can't live without?  Bring it!  I'll hook you up.  :)


And I'd love it if you'd leave a comment below to recommend some music for me to add to my list.


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(Teresa Castracane Photography) https://www.teresacastracane.com/blog/2019/8/behind-the-scenes-photo-session-playlist-the-up-side Mon, 19 Aug 2019 00:57:45 GMT
Actors Are Rich in Friends: Making Great Headshots More Affordable https://www.teresacastracane.com/blog/2019/6/actors-are-rich-in-friends I've been an actor my entire adult life.  I feel at home in a theatre; I love being around theatre people.  To throw out a few generalizations, I 055_Scott055_Scott  find theatre people creative, funny, and emotionally available.  They're also dedicated, highly social, and resourceful.

One thing you don't find very often among theatre people is buckets and buckets of disposable income.  So when it comes time for new headshots, dedicated performers want the most professional, eye-catching photos money can buy, but they don't want to spend a lot of money to get them.

I want to help you get what you need.  Here's a solution, for those with excellent survival skills and a healthy social life, but not a lot of power in their bank accounts.  Gather your friends - or even just one friend - and schedule your headshots together, and I'll make your sessions more affordable.

Here are your options:


The Solo Show

$535 weekdays

$685 weekends

This option is the standard session, and your best bet if you want a relaxed, private session, with a great variety of looks to choose from.

This solo session includes unlimited time, and 2 finished images.

Click here for full details.

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The Two-Hander

$475 per person

Great for good friends or couples, this session will be scheduled to have you both here at the same time.  It's a ton of fun, and we'll finish up by getting some great shots of the two of you together.

  • for just two people
  • full-length sessions
  • at least 4 looks apiece
  • includes 2 finished, high-res digital images for each person


The Ensemble Piece

$425 per person

This is great for a small group of people who don't mind a somewhat shorter session.  Sessions can be scheduled consecutively, if you each want individual time with me, or simultaneously, which makes the whole thing feel kinda like a Headshot Party.

  • for 3 or more people
  • 45-minute sessions
  • 3 looks per person
  • includes 1 finished, high-res digital image for each person


The Crowd Scene

$275 per person 061_Courtney061_Courtney

Do you need just a quick update?  Are you pretty comfortable in front of the camera?  Then this could be the session for you and your friends.  A quick (and I do mean quick) pick-me-up to hold you over until your next full headshot session.  Can be scheduled consecutively, or in groups.

  • for 5 or more people
  • 15-minute sessions
  • 1 look per person
  • includes 1 finished, high-res digital image for each person


Other Details


  • Professional hair and makeup services are available for an additional cost, and I highly recommend that we plan that into your sessions.  The extent of these services will vary according to the session schedule, number of people, and your needs, ranging from full hair and makeup, to quick touchups.  Contact me to plan your group session, and we'll work out the details.
  • Sessions must be scheduled either together or consecutively.  For a group too large to be photographed in one day, the schedule can go into consecutive days.
  • All sessions are held at my studio in Cheverly, Maryland.  If you'd like to provide a different location, there will be an additional fee of $200, which can be shared among the participants.
  • Group sessions can be scheduled, at the rates above, on either weekdays or weekends.  My weekend schedule fills up faster, so please plan ahead.
  • All participants must pay a $50 non-refundable deposit to hold their appointment time.
  • For any session, additional high-resolution digital images can be purchased at $65 apiece, or a set of three for $160.




There's no more economical or fun way to get fantastic, professional headshots.

Drop me a line to start planning your group session today!

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(Teresa Castracane Photography) Actor Headshots Affordable Group Rates Headshots https://www.teresacastracane.com/blog/2019/6/actors-are-rich-in-friends Wed, 05 Jun 2019 17:41:40 GMT