Photographers We Love – Tessa McDonald Photography

We are excited to introduce a new feature here on the Taylor Joelle blog! Each month we will highlight the work of a photographer that we love, and get to know them. They will also share their tips for choosing outfits for photo shoots, photographing your own children and more! 
Our first feature is Tessa McDonald Photography! Tessa is located in Waterford, CA. She is a wife and a mother of 2 beautiful children. She picked up her first camera at the age of 15, and really never put it down. “I remember I would “take a drive” in high school, just me and my camera-to photograph whatever spoke to me. I really feel like being a photographer is my calling. Every time I am asked to photograph a certain time in a child’s life or a family session-I look at it as a celebration of life!”

Here is a glimpse into Tessa’s beautiful work:

Tessa answered a few questions for us about her photography, tips for our readers and more!
How long have you been a photographer?

I have been a professional photographer for 4 years.

Where are you located?
I am located out of Waterford, California.

What is your favorite type of subject to photograph?
I love to photograph children of all ages.

Do you have any advice for parents dressing their child (children) for a photo
shoot?

I suggest finding one item they love and building off of that. Pulling colors and adding patterns to compliment that piece and each other. Layering, textures and color is important. Finding what to wear is hard..I always wish them luck ;0)

How do you bring out a child’s personality during a photo shoot?
In order to make children laugh I sing songs, bark like a dog, oink like a pig and at times do jumping jacks!

What is your favorite session you have ever done?
I enjoy all of my sessions but one year old photo shoots never get old! It is such a wonderful time in a child’s life as they are starting to walk and explore. Their personalities are starting to really shine as well.

What type of camera do you prefer?
I prefer shooting with a Nikon.

Do you have any tips for parents taking their own candid photos of their children?
I actually tell the mothers I meet to buy a nice camera because you don’t want to miss your childs’ first bath, first rice cereal experience or even their first steps. If you want to photograph them in the bath-do it in the middle of the day and choose the bathroom with better natural light. Rice cereal-set them up by a window so that the light is coming at their face not behind them. Find the light in your home and follow it.

Do you like to use props in your photography? 
I love to use vintage props, colorful chairs and wooden crates.

Do you prefer studio or outdoor shooting?
There is nothing like the beauty of natural light. Newborn and 3 month sessions I prefer in my studio. Other than that I photograph mostly outdoors.

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