Anila Sheikh Photography: Blog en-us Anila Sheikh Photography [email protected] (Anila Sheikh Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:14:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:14:00 GMT Anila Sheikh Photography: Blog 120 120 The Fischer Family Lifestyle Portrait Session Welcome back, everyone!

I recently had a stupendous lifestyle portrait session with the Fischer family. I've said it before and I'll say it again – I truly have the best clients ever! This family was no exception, either.  I don’t think I would ever forget the two little adorable boys.  The older one was four years old and the younger one was six months old.  I have to say, these little boys reminded me of the book, “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”  They would not stay still, the older one was always jumping on the couch, going under the tables, and constantly wanting to play and have a good time.  And for the younger one, he was climbing up his dad and dancing around with both of his parents.  The only way that the parents could calm down their youngest son was to feed him milk.  The four-year-old was persuaded into relaxing by being able to use his kindle later in the day and to have some of his favorite chocolate.  The baby also had a hard time looking towards the camera because he was always looking at his two pets, a dog, and a cat.  We had to use our phone screens, toys, some funny faces, and interesting noises to get the baby’s attention.  The two boys definitely added a lot of excitement and surprises to the photoshoot. 

We met at their home in the Washington D.C. Palisades and it was right off canal road.  I loved shooting at their home because there were a lot of windows, the balcony overlooked many trees and even the Potomac River.  Because of the many windows in their home, there was a lot of natural lighting, so we didn’t need any of the lights in their home to be on or use a great amount of flash.  The natural lighting also added a beautiful and gentle touch on everyone’s face.  Thanks to the balcony, we were able to get some photos outside.  Even though it was a little chilly that day, we all went to get photos taken with the breathtaking sunset that was taking place.  Their dog and cat also wanted to spend some time on the balcony with all of us.  Overall, it was just an amazing and beautiful place for photography. 

It truly was a great photo shoot. And if any of you, yes YOU, are considering a family session or are prepping for an upcoming one, heed the words of Hallie:  It is absolutely necessary to have a photography session at home instead of going to the studio.  With young kids, it’s tough to get pictures done and have them relaxed while being in a studio.

Okay, onto pictures of the Fischer family!

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[email protected] (Anila Sheikh Photography) boys family session lifestyle portrait session little boys natural lighting photo shoot photography session photos portrait photographer professional photographer young kids Sat, 06 Jan 2018 11:13:51 GMT
Celebrating 20 Years of Human Development Foundation (HDF) Success Well, hello there!

I recently had so much fun photographing the Human Development Foundation Charity Event, held at Crowne Plaza Washington National Airport in Crystal City.  HDF is known for supporting many people in Pakistan and has been around for 20 years.  HDF had benefited millions of people; for example, by enrolled children in schools to get an education, set up community health centers, children and women are immunized, children receive regular health checkups and adults learned life skills and vocational training to support their families.  At this event alone, they had raised $233,357 that will help the Pakistani people!

"HDF hopes to continue its contribution in meaningful ways for twenty more years, helping families and individuals not only meet essential daily needs but also help them work towards a brighter future,” says Sharmeen Khan, the President of the Washington D.C. Chapter.


It was a decent sized event with roughly 130 attendants, including people from the Embassy of Pakistan, doctors, dentists, parents, businessmen, women and artists.  I saw that all of them were glad to share this beautiful evening supporting a wonderful cause.

Before all of the guests showed up, there was already a lot of spirit and enthusiasm in the hall.  Everyone was working together to make sure everything was in order and that they were prepared for the long, yet amazing night they were about to have.

The event theme was My Childhood Dream and when the guests arrived, they had to describe a dream that they once had when they were children.  Some of the dreams were very amusing, like this one that I will never forget, a man wanted to be a rickshaw driver.  This young kid would go to Pakistan to visit his relatives with his parents and thought that rickshaws were fascinating and knew that he wanted to have a career driving them.  This same man is now a doctor.


One of the other thing that I found interesting was that the guests had to deposit $5 in a glass jar whenever one of them decided to use their cell phones.  I don’t know how much was collected at the end of the event by this method, but hopefully, it was a lot since it was definitely hard to resist answering texts, checking FaceBook and looking at Snapchats.


Also at the event, they had musical entertainment featuring Haider Afzal.  He sang beautiful songs that made the guests clap along to the beat, whistle in excitement, sing along like it was karaoke, and even make some people get up on their feet to dance. 


I was glad to have been there for all the excitement and happy to share some of that excitement with you here.  Hope you enjoy the pictures!



[email protected] (Anila Sheikh Photography) 20 years artists businessmen charity event crowne plaza washington national airport in crystal city dentists doctors embassy of pakistan event photographer event photography hdf parents professional event photographer professional photographer supporting people in pakistan women Mon, 25 Dec 2017 11:52:47 GMT
What To Wear For Family, Kids and Couple Pictures What To Wear For Pictures

I am a portrait photographer located in Fairfax County and I have been asked so often what to wear to a portrait session (family, children, and couple) that I have decided to write a few tips.  I hope these suggestions are helpful and make you look your best in your photos/portraits. 


Clothes That Coordinate And Complement Each Other Not Matching Outfits

Matching is outdated such as everyone wearing white shirts with blue pants or blue shirts with khaki pants.  I know that I am guilty of doing that for my family portraits and it just seems that it makes the image very boring.  Also, I feel that it takes away everyone’s personalities.  Unfortunately, I know that it is not a “WOW” family portrait so I suggest that you shall not wear plain white for any portraits unless it is used as an accent or accessorize it with a colorful scarf, blazer or vest. 

You may select 1-3 colors that coordinate around a common color scheme, for example, dark green, burgundy, and navy all dark color tones or gray, lavender and rose are all softer color tones. By selecting a common color scheme the portraits will pop and look beautiful.  Another thing that you may do is pull colors from one patterned outfit to create a look for all of the others in the group.  By doing this you will also be creating an amazing image.



It is alright to wear patterns as long as one person is wearing a pattern piece and the rest of the people are in solid colors.  If everyone decides to wear patterns than the photo will not be so good since your eyes will not be able to focus on the image and it will be very distracting.



They add detail and depth to the image and makes the image beautiful.  You may achieve this effect by using clothing materials like tweed, lace, ribbons, ruffles, crochet, and embroidery. 


Layers and Accessories

Cardigan, sweater, vest, jacket, blazer, coat, scarf, hat, tie, belt, headband, and jewelry adds fun to the overall image and makes it visually interesting.  The thing that I most love about layers and accessories is that you may put on or take off and give it an entirely new look to an image without many wardrobe changes.  Please keep jewelry very simple because too much draws attention from your face.  Also when you wear hats don’t have them to low that it hides the eyes.



Men, please make sure that your shoes are neat, clean, polished and go with the outfit.  Ladies, if you are wearing heels then bring along snickers or comfortable sandals to walk around from one area to another such as in the woods, on rocks or unpaved sidewalks.  To make the photo even more interesting then try to coordinate shoes with other clothing or accessories options that people are wearing in the photo.  For instance, you may match your daughter’s green shoes with your sweater, scarf or hat that you are wearing or vice versa. 


Extra Things To Be Aware Off


If you wear glasses then you are kindly asked to remove them for a few photos since they have reflections which are difficult to remove in Photoshop and Lightroom.  Please remove your glasses about 15-20 minutes before your session so the marks on the bridge of your nose will have time to disappear.  I have many portraits of my husband and son in which both of them are wearing glasses and they are not as great due to glares in the lenses.  Sometimes they take the lenses out of the glasses if they absolutely want to take photos while they are wearing glasses.  Also, the other option is to go to the optometrist that will loan out or charge a minimal fee for frames without lenses to use for a photo session.  I realize that if you are not wearing your glasses then you feel like it's not you in those photos.  I promise to take photos with and without you wearing glasses and hopefully not too much reflection/glare will be caught.   


Hair Accessories

Hair accessories such as bobby pins, hair clips, headbands or any other favorite accessories that you want to bring with you just in case you have a session outside.  If it gets very windy then you will need to put your hair up and make it look nice


Facial Hair

Men have a fresh shave.  Trim your sideburns, mustache or goatee and make sure there are no stray hairs.  Ladies, if you have light facial hairs on your lip or chin then wax or thread that hair before your session otherwise they will be noticeable in your images.  Also if you keep your eyebrows clean than make sure they are plucked and cleaned up for the photos too.



Please make sure that your nails look tidy and clean, including the cuticles.  It is actually a wonderful opportunity to pamper yourself and get a manicure.  Please pick a neutral nail polish color that will not clash with your outfits.



Please don't put too much makeup to try to hide blemishes because it will look overdone in the images.  Also, make sure that the makeup matches your skin tone or otherwise your face may look different color from the rest of your body.



Dry skin can detract from a great image to start using a moisturizer nightly about 1-2 weeks in advance of your session. Moisturize your face, neck, hands, arms, shoulders, legs and feet.



You will probably be biting or licking your lips during the session so please bring extra lip balm, lip gloss or lipstick to freshen up and to do touch-ups.  



Everyone, please get a good night sleep so you will be well rested the next day with no black circles or bags under your eyes.


Things To Avoid For The Portrait Session


Characters, Logos, Graphics & Writing

Please avoid them since they will be too distracting and will not look like a professional portrait.  People looking at the image will notice the logo/character/graphics or writing before seeing the gorgeous faces or smiles in the image.  


Neon Or Saturated Colors

Please avoid wearing these colors during your portrait session because it takes the attention away from the face and makes the clothing the center of attention.  The eyes quickly move towards the clothing instead of looking at the faces in the image.  Also, these colors are the most difficult to get right in photos.


New Hairstyle

Ladies, please no new hairstyle one week before your portrait session.  The best time frame is about 2 weeks beforehand to get a haircut.  It takes time to outgrow and become comfortable with your new hairstyle.  For men, a fresh cut a couple of days before the session is okay.


Wrinkled Outfits

Please avoid wearing wrinkled outfits for your portrait.  It is best to wear ironed clothes right before going to the portrait session or you may change when you get to the location.

[email protected] (Anila Sheikh Photography) children couples family how to look good in a photo how to look good in portraits kids make you look your best in your portraits photography tips photos pictures portrait portrait photographer portrait photographer located in fairfax county portrait session professional photographer things to avoid for portrait session tips tips on what to wear for a portrait session what to wear in portraits Sat, 11 Nov 2017 20:30:00 GMT
Family Portrait Session at Lakeside Park Hi Everyone! 

Let me take a second to tell you that I am seriously the luckiest photographer in the world. My clients are always so amazing to work with. That's true of my session with this family, too!

I met up with them a few weeks ago at a beautiful Lakeside Park located in Fairfax, Virginia and the weather was perfect for photo-taking. It was a cool day with a lot of sun, so it didn’t feel too cold.  The sunlight was diffused and there was lots of soft light with no harsh shadows to be found.   While the weather was fine, it was this family that made this shoot such a success. 



The family consists of a mom, who is a teacher at Fairfax County Public Schools and a dad who is into computer information systems.  Both of them had attended James Madison University (which is actually how they met).  They have a son that is 5 years old and a daughter that is 13 years old.  The daughter is in 8th grade and was very kind.  She always had a big smile, whereas their son was a little too serious.  In order to make the little boy smile, for each photo, the family mentioned Professor Poopy Pants from the movie “Captain Underpants” and different foods from McDonald’s.  These two things made him laugh endlessly! 

The reason why the family wanted to have a portrait session here was that one of “their family activity is coming to this park since they have been living in the Fairfax area,” says the mom.  She also mentioned that it's a "very lovely neighborhood park and it's very close to their home".  It's definitely a very lovely park with many activities to do such as nice playground for younger kids, a baseball field, a soccer field and a trail that is almost 2 miles that go around the lake.  

As you can see from the comments above and the photos below, this family is not only photogenic but also a close-knit group who clearly love spending time together. They are extremely lucky to have each other.

Our session highlights are below!  

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[email protected] (Anila Sheikh Photography) children children portraits clients couple couple portraits fairfax fairfax county family family portraits lakeside park neighborhood park park photo photographer portrait portrait session session virginia Sat, 04 Nov 2017 02:16:05 GMT