The Christmas Lull

Ya know, sometimes days just suck. We try to push the Hump Day Pub Day philosophy, but let me tell you, it doesn’t always work! Lesbihonest here (haha, Pitch Perfect, anyone? Anyone?)…it’s almost winter time, which is super gloomy. Literally, the sun is like in hibernation, and the vibrant colors of summer and early fall have a grey tint. And don’t lie, this is truth circle here, you’ve already had 3 quart sized bottles of egg nog, and it’s only Dec. 10.

I like to call this the “Christmas lull,” not to be confused with the “after Christmas lull,” which may or may not be worse. The Christmas lull is that time of year, right before Christmas where exams are going on, budgets are getting close to E, and you secretly want to stab those people with those stupid reindeer antlers on their car doors. You haven’t bought your Christmas presents yet, all these crazy people are out on the roads trying to buy their presents in their crazy Christmas haze (often times the same people with the reindeer antlers on their car), all the while you realize in T-14 days (because don’t forget Christmas Eve) you get to see your ENTIRE family. What’s worse is they may be staying with you?! Eeek.

Not to mention that 2014 is coming to a close; you haven’t lost that Thanksgiving weight yet, only to be compounded by the future Christmas snackage & feasts and of course ALL of the Cheer beer. Wait, you haven’t had Cheer beer? Why it’s Christmas Spirit in a can/bottle! And you’ve been getting your fill because it’s a limited edition while listening to 4 different renditions of “Santa Baby” in a row— thanks for that Spotify. Or OR, what about when you are decorating your toats adorbs Christmas tree, and you “think” you buy enough Christmas lights, only to find out you are one strand short! And if you skimp, then the whole tree is skimped and just looks stupid! Or when you just want to make a decorative bow for a tree topper, and heaven forbid they make that easy!! “Pinterest, YOU’VE LET ME DOWN!!” It all inevitably ends with a grown woman jumping up and down on the crinkled ribbon throwing a temper tantrum while the youtube video finishes with an, “And it’s as easy as that. :)” You can just hear the smile in her voice! Ugh. Not speaking from experience or anything. But needless to say, it’s time to break out the Jack for the Egg nog here, folks. Still counts as “festive”, am I right?? Ah yes, the Christmas lull is here, but have no fear…soon it will be replaced with Christmas Cheer! *BARF*

Drunk on Christmas Cheer

Drunk on Christmas Cheer

Oh, you think I’m kidding? Here’s Madison’s solution to The Christmas lull:

  1. It’s called ONLINE SHOPPING. Amazon Prime your super awesome presents to your doorstep. Shipping included!
  2. Stay inside at all costs. (A. It’s warmer inside. B. You don’t have to deal with crazies. C. You can use Amazon Prime now!)
  3. PUT DOWN the egg nog! This is for Santa, remember?
  4. Calm it down. Here’s a link to some meditative yoga practices to turn your Christmas frown upside down. You’ll be wearing a Santa hat in no time.
  5. Just think of all the little boys and girls who are so flipping excited for Christmas, they can’t even function. Great job “Elf on the Shelf” for creating a surefire way to make kids semi-behave when in reality, they just want to kick and scream and run around in a circle until Christmas morning!
Elf in a treeee

Elf in a treeeee

So here’s to asking Santa for a remington rifle and a leg lamp. Merry Christmas, y’all.




Hello Fall time!

Today marks the beginning of fall. It’s that time of year for cooler weather, pumpkin spice lattes, and colorful leaves.

It’s sad, right? I love the summer time. All the country songs of young love in the summer, swimming in a creek, going to fairs…ya know – the good stuff. **Cough Kenny cough Chesney**. That feeling of warmth, the summer haze, and greenery everywhere.

So here’s an homage to you, dear ole summertime. I’ll miss you and the hot July moon, but I will look forward to long tan legs, strawberry wine, and pontooning next year. 😉




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Can you feel it? The heat just from the pictures? Well, I guess that’s enough of that. Now, on to fall.




I want to talk about something that has nothing to do with photography or even Yen Studios for that matter. I want to talk about Memphis. My home.

I heard this speech yesterday from the Memphis Chamber President, Phil Trenary, talk about needing to “sell Memphis” to people. Easy – just sell the positive attributes of Memphis! But how can you sell Memphis when Memphians don’t even recognize what those are?? We all hear about the crime, weird weather, poverty, etc. Do people even talk about the good things?

All of these are questions roaming through my head, and luckily, they gave us a flyer of 15 great things to know about Memphis. I was surprised. I didn’t know that many, which is embarrassing because ya know – I’ve lived here my whole life and am a relatively active citizen in Memphis. Sad. 😦 And then the same day, my sister, Morgan, posts this on Facebook…and I got an idea.

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She continues to be a great source of inspiration for me, and I thought this idea was absolutely brilliant. Just a little background info on her. She and her husband lived in Memphis and then moved to Nashville because they wanted a change! After a couple of years, they decided to make the move back to the 901. Why?? Isn’t Nashville supposed the be the greatest city on earth since sliced bread? Yeah, let that sink in. (Slow nod.) Well, here’s a few reasons they moved back: Straight up, they missed it; it’s home for them. And it took leaving to realize that. The food is A-MAZING! Living is cheaper out here. (You roll your eyes, but Memphis is cheap according to this link and so many more! Just Google it, and you’ll see just how many lists Memphis makes.) And I’m sure they have more reasons for moving back, but I don’t want to put words in her mouth.

She posted this on Facebook because it was something she was thinking and wanted to make a point about Memphians’ behavior. I’M posting about this today because I am asking YOU TO MAKE A STAND. Be a #bettermemphian. Make a better Memphis. Create a list for yourself, hold yourself accountable for what you are recommending, and help make our city a better place. Toxic attitudes can go to a different city or just evaporate (I’m ok with that). We don’t need them here. We need people to talk about the GOOD in Memphis. The #lovemobs, free concert series, and pop-up breweries – things that make Memphis unique! Memphis has its problems. I think we are all aware of that. But nothing will be fixed if we only focus on why people would hate it. And let me preface this by saying…if you DON’T have anything nice to say about my post then keep steppin’. Don’t need your negativity here today.

I propose we make a list of 5 things we can realistically do to be #bettermemphians! (using the hashtag is a must. lol) Share said list on every social media you have access to, and when you see people face to face – bring this up. Re-use what people have said before if you agree with it or make new rules and live by them. Help me help Memphis!

Here’s my list to becoming a better Memphian:

1. No public bashing of Memphis. The last thing we need as a city is to have everyone publicly hating all over it. I’ve done it, but I’m going to change. What about you?

2. When people are hating all over Memphis, say 1 nice thing about our city. For me, this will be easy because I honestly do believe Memphis has the best water in the country! Hazah, I now and forever will have a rebuttal to public Memphis bashing. Don’t like this amazingly refreshing water (huh?), here is a list of other great things Memphis has to offer.

3. Give. Give what? Money! To who?? Memphis organizations you believe in!! Don’t have money? Give your time, some effort, or maybe even skills. Don’t have time, effort or skills to give? Well, first of all – that’s sad. Second of all – something as simple as “Liking” them on Facebook can help. There is something that you can do to show your support for whatever, so don’t play that game with me.

4. Cheer on/support a school in Memphis! I went to the U of M! I am a PROUD alumna. I met my husband there, and we have participated in events both during and after our graduation. The U of M is what you make of it, and if that isn’t your bag, baby, then what about an elementary or high school? Or a trade school? Education is important…at any level! Cheer them on. Answer their surveys, attend their functions, and read their newsletters. Be active.

5.  Stay up to date. Keep up with the news and see what’s going on in your city. Be informed. Here are two good sources to stay up to date with Memphis trends: ilovememphis and choose901. You wouldn’t want to miss out! Because when things happen in Memphis, it’s a sight to see! I went to the Lucero concert at the Levitt Shell. Good thing I follow them on twitter and subscribe to their email list 😉 because I would have missed it!! It was awesome! And free! And so much of Memphis was huddled on the lawn at the Shell, dancing to local music! I couldn’t believe the support…to see that Memphians care! And that feeling of being a part of a community, like we are all in this together…THAT is what we can sell when we “sell Memphis.”

Lucero Concert at the Levitt Shell

Lucero Concert at the Levitt Shell

Peace out! *Drop microphone*



High School Senior Portraits: What to Wear/Bring/Prepare

So we have a high school senior portrait coming up, eh? Have no idea what to wear? Or do? Or bring? Well…we can help with that!

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First off – what is the purpose of these??

Well, seniors, these are mostly for your parents. You just can’t get around it. They love you, want to remember you in your “sweet and innocent” high school stage, and they want to show you off to their friends. Graduating high school is a rite of passage from childhood into adulthood, from being under your parent’s wing to doing your own thing. High school senior portrait sessions are subconsciously emotional for parents, and they honestly deserve extra thought and care for your pictures. So needless to say, we want you seniors to look cool, while making you parents proud and happy. Parents, these photos are for you to show off and to frame to keep in your house for years to come. Show the world all of the care and effort you gave them and your commitment to their development for a sport or hobby. Think of it as featured images of their childhood in this pivotal point in their life.

Now – let’s get down to the good stuff. What should you do to make your high school senior portrait shoot easy breezy and awesome?

(I am just giving a general tip guide. There are not that many do’s vs. don’ts here.)

  1. Do bring many outfits. These outfits should vary in degrees of casualness.
    • 1 outfit pretty casual: jeans/shorts and a cute top. Guys and gals, feel free to bring a school shirt. It can be a high school shirt AND/OR a college shirt!
    • 1-3 outfits snappy casual: what you would wear for a date night. Don’t forget shoes. Bring some options here in case something doesn’t work out.
    • 1 outfit your parents picked out. Just do it. If they say they love you in that hat, bring it! Hats make for cool pictures, anyways.
    • 1-3 options for sports/hobby clothes. For me, I played competitive tennis. In fact, I played tennis every single day and had more tennis clothes than regular clothes. Bring a few options and show us your moves. (Don’t forget shoes here either. It looks weird if you are all geared up for a soccer pic or something and you’re wearing flipflops – bring the cleats!)
    • Props – We don’t typically need props, but as I said, if you are in a sport – bring your gear. A soccer ball, tennis rackets/bag, golf gear, you name it. In Theatre? Bring something from your favorite scene. Also, purses and scarves make for cute accessories. And even – your car. Let’s say you love your car. It’s your metaphorical baby; mine is named Chester. Get’em all cleaned up and let’s take some pics in/around your car. It’s fun and not as dorky as it sounds…
    • Hair brush/bands and make-up. I have said this before, and it still applies. You will need this for touchups and quick fixes.
    • And lastly a Letterman jacket, if you have it/want it photographed.
  2. Scope out a place to shoot your pictures. For our sessions in particular, unless you specify otherwise, our default location is our studio. There are great places to shoot there, but if you want a picture of you on a field or at golf course or riding a horse or something, you should let your photographer know. Make it personal for you and your family. Pick a meaningful spot. And your photographer should advise on a good time of day for lighting purposes.
  3. Girls – think about starting with your hair down and then change it to up. It changes the feel and doesn’t make the pictures seem as if they were all done at one time.
  4. Think about the kind of personality you want to convey through these pictures. If you just want pretty pictures, we can absolutely do that. If you want bad ass pictures, or serious pictures, or light-hearted pictures, we can do that too. Just let us know. It’s all about the lighting here, folks.
  5. This last one sounds lame, but it’s important! Have a good time with it! Bring your tunes. Dance around, goof off, be carefree and happy. Times have changed, and we are no longer in the times of school photographer pictures and stuffy fake backgrounds. These are real life, cool, and artistic. So be ready to BE YOU!


Ok, there was my list of tips and suggestions! Hope you liked it, and feel free to call/email me to book your senior portrait session today! 901-412-4482

What to Wear to a Photo Shoot: A Photographer’s Do’s and Don’ts

Ok, so you have this big photo shoot coming up for your (name of important life event here), and you ask the age-old question, “What should I wear??”

Does thinking about what to wear make you do a face-palm??

Does thinking about what to wear make you do a face-palm??

Well…this question is hard to answer for a few different reasons. We have probably just met or only talked over the phone, so I don’t necessarily know what you own, or what’s in your closet. And, I don’t know your style or your personality, or what makes you feel good. But alas, without fail, I am asked this question every time someone new is shooting with us because they are excited and nervous, and they just want to look their best. Completely understandable, and assuming you don’t have a personal stylist or shopper on hand, here are some tips.

A photographer’s guide of Do’s and Don’ts to help you be more prepared and less retouching for me on the back end, which in turn is cheaper for you! A win win! 

This guide will have a general section, and then will be followed by separate, more specific sections…because, well, you have different kinds of shoots for different purposes.

Side Note: This guide is mainly for the ladies who worry about this, but then again the ladies are the ones who typically ask this question anyways.

The parts we will be going over the next few weeks are:

1. Senior portraits (because it’s that time of year).

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2. Engagements/couples (coordinating with your other half). 









3. Professional head shots (because everyone should have one!)

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and 4. Fashion portfolios (you’d be surprised what some people bring to these. Ever wonder what modeling agencies want to see? Stay tuned). 












Ok, let’s get started. 

General Do’s and Don’ts for your next photo shoot 

5 Do’s:

1. Do bring many options. As far as I’m concerned, bring your entire closet. It doesn’t hurt my feelings, and we have a little clothes rack you can hang them on. It’s better to be over-prepared with great options than stuck with only one that you may not be happy with. Don’t forget to coordinate shoes.

2. Speaking of shoes, do wear at least semi-comfortable shoes (or bring travel shoes). If we are shooting on location or outside, you will regret wearing those $400 stilettos, hiking around town to find an optimal scene. 

3. Do take a look at your pictures of the past, and identify the outfits that photographed well in the past. What did you like about them? If you don’t want to wear something old, head to the mall and find an outfit with similar qualities.

4. Do bring things that make you comfortable. This point is more concerning bringing clothes that are a peace of mind. If you think you have big arms, bring a jacket, or a sweater, or something with sleeves. If you don’t like your legs then wear pants, or a long skirt, or tights. You get my point.

5. Do bring touch up stuff. I’m talking bring your make-up bag. You will want to freshen up your lipstick. Bring a hairbrush just in case. And when/if you get all sweaty bring some powder for your nose and forehead. The shininess will show through and trust me when I say you will be glowing (unless the goal of the shoot is to be a sexy sweaty ad or something)…

5 Don’ts:

1. Don’t wear something that you recognize makes you look fat. (If you have to ask, don’t wear it). I’m sorry to say this, but the camera will mercilessly add 5-10 lbs to you. Something that may make you look big, can be 1 of two things. One is something that is too tight and unforgiving on your body. Folks, just be honest with yourself here. It’s ok. No judgement from me or my team! The other is something that is too loose and flowy (things with a lot of fabric). These could look great in person, but the camera will capture those times when your flowy maxi creates a nonexistent baby bump on even the skinniest of ladies…

2. Don’t wear a top+bra combo that won’t cooperate. What I mean is: if your bra strap pops out once, it will inevitably pop out again. And again. And again. No, I don’t want to spend hours retouching your 65 photos or however many you choose to retouch out your bra strap. You may not think of it before you come to the shoot, but it will be the first thing that you see when you get back the pictures. Wear a different bra or maybe a different top. 

3. Don’t wear any prints that are just ridiculously crazy busy. I’m not saying to not wear fun and colorful prints. I’m simply saying that really bright checkered/striped/blingy clothes just don’t look as good on camera. If you have to squint when you look at your outfit, best to leave it for a party, not a shoot.

4. Don’t wear something that’s not YOU. If the last thing you would wear on earth is a pair of pumps and short tight dress…then by golly, don’t show up in just that because you think that’s what we/the world want to see. The world does not care. They are too busy gushing over/criticizing Taylor Swift’s new music video. Your uncomfortable feeling of the clothes you wear will be apparent on camera. Be you. Be proud to wear something that’s inexplicably and undeniably you. You won’t regret it.

5. Do not over do the make-up. I know this isn’t an outfit, but the make-up matters. Wear something that is versatile so it will match your other outfits. And nothing too heavy on the eyes, so if we put a flash on you, you won’t look crazy.

Ok, hope this helped! Feel free to share, and stay tuned for our more specific shoot tips! 🙂


Yen Studios |

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New Blog, Fresh start

the lofts; yen studios; downtown memphis

So what’s been new with Yen Studios? I know we have been totally AWOL lately, but have no fear. Things are gonna change.


Of late, we have been collaborating with an amazing new blog called City Chic Living, which is a lifestyle and fashion blog based in Memphis, TN (

City Chic Living; lifestyle blog; memphis photographer;


We have been shooting high fashion for Grace Magazine (,

Grace magazine; fashion spread; yen studios; memphis fashion

Grace Magazine Cover

and of course, we have been shooting summer trends and fashion of the South for Click Magazine (

Click Magazine; April fashion shoot; color theory; yen studios; memphis photographer; fashion

Fashion spread for Click Magazine.

AND on top of that, we have been shooting weddings, engagements, and couples sessions Oh my! And I totally got married in June! Wooohooo-the new Mrs. Goodwin. It’s pretty weird to say.

bridal portrait; memphis wedding; yen studios

My bridal portrait


Keep up to date with all Yen Studios is working on by liking our Facebook pages, and


As you know, Yen Studios is a father daughter photography team. We do shoot weddings and engagements, but we also shoot so much more, like commercial products, corporate and lifestyle head shots, fashion, and real estate. Keep us in mind when you have these photography needs. Not many people can say that they have been published as many times as we have with 34 years of experience under our belt. And hey, I did just get married ya know, so I do have a leg up on the wedding trends…As a photography team, we like to stay fresh and trendy, so if you have new ideas-we are always open to hearing the next big thing.


Check ya later.