Monthly Archives: June 2015

So as we approached our 7th year anniversary, we decided to make a few changes in how we operated Tiptoe. Most of you have probably not even taken notice of it, as the changes have been fairly subtle. For the past year or so, I (Tara) have been weaning myself from shooting so much. It started with regular sessions and most recently, I have even stopped shooting weddings. Wondering what in the heck I do in a photography business if I don't take pictures? The answer to that is pretty much everything else! I now do the scheduling, man the phone and email, conduct all the ordering sessions, consult with the accountant, pay the bills, pay the employees, design promotional flyers and place all the print/product orders. Needless to say, I stay pretty busy! And you know what? I actually like it! And with all of this being taken care of, it leaves the other ladies plenty of time to shoot, edit and make amazing artwork for all of our wonderful clients! It is totally a win-win situation!

To all of my awesome clients, I promise you won't even have time to miss me! I still do each and every ordering session for all of the shoots and I have even been known to snag the "baby-whisperer" spot for most of our newborn sessions. (I mean, who would turn down the chance to snuggle a baby? Not this girl!) I am just thankful that our business has grown so much over the past 7 years that we need someone to oversee daily operations. And who do we have to thank for that? All of you! We wouldn't be where we are today if we didn't have the best clients in the business! So thank you for letting us be "your life photographers" and cheers  to the next 7 years!

Just a little glimpse into what a typical day "behind the scenes" looks like for me:

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(Actually, I totally straightened up before I took this is normally a much bigger mess, lol!)




Lisa Mercer

Soooo excited that our second round of Tiptoe Teaches is back on July 26th at our downtown studio! We are ready to teach you how to shoot on manual mode, and take control of your images.  This class is perfect for moms who want to take better pictures of your kids, or new photographers that are looking for some guidance and mentoring in the aspect of your camera.  Tiptoe has been in business for about 7 years now and I can remember back to year one, when we had our cameras set on AUTO and I would see other peoples photos and be like "why can't I get mine to look somewhat like that??"  I wish someone would have had these sorts of workshops for me to take, so that I could ask just that question (and the 20,000 other ones I had, lol)!

I didn't attend college for photography, I attended for business, so how could I possibly be a professional photographer if I didn't even have a class for it while I was at Shepherd?  Well my schooling came in different forms: it took many years, a 1000 photoshoots, a couple of classes, and an EXTREME amount of hours online researching, until I had finally honed in my skills and knew what I was doing behind the camera. And perhaps even more importantly I knew the right questions to ask to get answers, to the problems that arose, when I wouldn't get something right!  All of this "figuring things out" without someone to mentor us, is probably one thing that I would go back and change about "the beginning"! If we could have just had someone to bounce questions off of, it would've saved us so many hours of our lives!

So you may ask why now, why does Tiptoe want to teach now, after 7 years?  We know it is the right time in our business to start sharing what we know. We see lots and lots of new photographers in the area that look like they are where we were in our business the first couple years, and we want to help! We know what it's like just starting out in this business and if we can help anyone not go through the struggles that we did, it will make our lives just a little more fulfilling. We want to build a strong photography community where we can mentor, share ideas, and make friends with a great group of people who are as passionate about photography as we are.  "A rise in tide can raise all ships." I love this quote because I do believe that with community not competition we all will thrive in our businesses.

Our first round of ladies that attended the classes, were amazing! Which solidified the question of continuing of our workshops.  By being able to sit down and have real, open conversations about their struggles and goals, where nothing is hidden, gave us such a joy, one that we had honestly never felt since the start of our business!  It was amazing!

I hope if photography is your interest, your passion, or even your obsession you will join us! What a better way to spend a day of your summer than to learn something that you can use in your everyday life FOREVER.  You won't regret it!



So, for those of you who know me well, know I love my BUG!  Over the years she has become quite the beautiful dancer. I have been in awe of the dedication, determination, and perfection she has put into her art.   So in the midst of the busy recital season, we decided to take some time out to capture some of her favorite moves AT SUNSET!! And it was SENSATIONAL. There is something about the sunset in general that is so romantic, EVERYONE should be photographed in it.  The glowy-ness (I may have made that word up,lol)  that floods through the back of the trees is magical! For us photographers, it is called the GOLDEN HOUR, and it is sooooo incredible to shoot at this time of day!

Let me know what you all think!


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And to kick off one of our summer specials, here is a sneak peek of what is in store for you all, but the blog readers are getting to see it first!! sunset mini sessions

First of all, Happy Father's day to all of the wonderful daddies out there! The ladies of Tiptoe Studios hope you have an absolutely fabulous Sunday!

We thought there was no better day than today to kick off our 7Sale! That's right...7 years ago this July Tiptoe Studios formally came into being. That adds up to a ton of happy memories captured by us over the years! To say "thank you" for letting us into your lives to capture all of those precious moments, we are holding our 7Sale up through July 27th! Book a session between now and the 27th and pay a $7 session fee (normally $50)! To sweeten the deal, all a la carte 5x7 prints will also be only $7 each (normally $27)! And, if you are someone who likes to have the ultimate freedom in printing your own images, now is the time to take advantage of our session CD for the hugely discounted price of $700 (normally $1300)!

The 7Sale covers all regular sessions and cannot be combined with any other promotions/specials currently running. Ordering session for your shoot must be held before July 27th to take advantage of this deal.

This will be our biggest sale of the summer so don't miss out! Help us celebrate our 7th anniversary in true Tiptoe style! We can't wait to hear from you!


We have shot A LOT of weddings over the past 7 years and about a handful of those have actually been "first looks".  We have never pushed a first look and very rarely even discuss it at our consults other than asking, "Will you guys be seeing each other before the ceremony?" and when we get a "no" we leave it at that.  I think everyone is so caught up in keeping everything "traditional" that they are missing out on something AMAZING!  (Just my opinion)

I get it, I was once there.  I remember when I was planning my wedding, it wasn't even a question I wanted the "traditional way".  I wanted Codie to see me for the first time walking down the aisle.  I wanted the photographer to capture his "REACTION"  and of course I got the shot I wanted....him crying, (because he swore he wouldn't)  I mean lets be honest ladies, isn't that the shot we all want?  Whether you're in a church (like myself) or wherever and those doors open or you walk around the corner and your eyes meet for the first time.  It's an indescribable moment!  I still remember like it was yesterday.  It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about that moment.  I was nervous, scared, full of emotions, but the music came on, the doors opened and there he was...and in that moment I didn't notice the 200+ people standing there.....  I just saw him!

So why do a first look you ask?  Well here are a couple reasons...

Experience the moment in private

Doing a first look will allow you to embrace the moment, alone.  The bride can walk up behind him, tap his shoulder and as he turns around and sees his gorgeous bride for the first time...He can kiss her, hold her, cry with her, talk with her (which you wouldn't be able to do until after the ceremony) and just share this moment together without any distractions or holding any emotions back.  PLUS, your hair and make up are fresh and photo ready!

Looking back now, I wish I had that time to talk with Codie and tell him how handsome he looked and how excited I was.

Get rid of any nerves

Even us brides are so full of emotions, wondering if he's going to get cold feet and seeing each other beforehand can be a huge comfort for us before the big walk down the aisle.

More time for photos

You aren't trying to squeeze in all the photos after the ceremony.  It sounds like plenty of time during the cocktail hour to rally up the family and bridal party for group photos, but it's harder than you think.  It leaves you with barely any time for photos of just the two of you.  (Just to be clear, it is all doable, as we have been doing it for years, but not feeling rushed is wonderful)

Alone time

Doing a first look allows you to be alone, because trust me you won't get any alone time the rest of the day.  You will get 30-40% more photos of just the two of you than you would if you didn't do a first look.  We can get those sweet intimate photos because your emotions are fresh and you can't keep your hands off each other.  Whereas sometimes, it's harder to get back to that "lovey dovey" stage after waiting for so long to get through the family and bridal party photos. You can just enjoy each other without feeling rushed to get to the reception.


Whether you choose to do a first look or not, the day is still just as magical, but we have seen the benefits to doing a first look so we wanted to share this info with our couples.

Enjoy these images of Ashley and Cody's first look!

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What an exciting Daddy and Me day I had with some of my favorite people! This family is such a blessing to me! Angela and Matt have been with Tiptoe since the beginning. We have shot their engagement, wedding, maternity, newborns, 1st birthdays, family,  christmas cards, and dedications.   I really can't explain what they mean to me! I love their babies just as my own, and I love love love watching them grow.  (and just look at these little faces, seriously how could you not love them)  I love this family and love that they continue to use us as they add to their adorable family!  Enjoy your teasers!! And Matt we hope you have an awesome Father's Day!


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Our wedding season is in full effect, and we have been so, so blessed to have been chosen to shoot Dr. and the new Mrs. Phillips' wedding at the George Washington Hotel a couple weeks ago.  I mean the stars must have aligned for us this day because it was beautiful outside and Katelyn chose Tiptoe colors, so best believe we will be using this group for some advertising in the near future (and not to mention everyone was absolutely STUNNING!) Here are a couple Tiptoe Teasers for the newlyweds! Enjoy! phillips-1phillips-2phillips-3phillips-5phillips-6phillips-7

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What a fun session this was!  Mom, dad and grandma all tagged along the main streets and back alleys of Charles Town to get some gorgeous shots of this beautiful young lady.  Dad helped us get some really great natural smiles and a few good laughs by dancing and being silly behind me.  However, the serious ones turned out just as gorgeous!  Even though it was extremely hot and we got bit by a ton of mosquitoes, the session was a success!!  Here is a teaser for Dakota and her family!


Ande here! With your daily, animal-lovin' blog! JK...kinda.

But seriously...story time and yes, of course it involves animals.

A couple months ago, I caught one of the many feral cats that occupy my yard.  My intent was to socialize it so I can get it out of my yard and into someone's loving arms. (Yeah, update on that, it's not happening.  I still have her and she still hates me with all the hate a single feline can possibly muster.)

After a period of time had passed, I figured if she hadn't warmed up to me by now, then living a tame life just wasn't in the cards for her.  I'd get her spayed and then let her go on her way.

I made the call to Spay Today and I was heading to Briggs to finalize her appointment when I discovered...kittens. Great! She popped five of those suckers out the night before which left me with a mother cat that wants to claw my eyes out and her five newborns. They are all sweet and, naturally, as curious as ever. They're just over a month old now and I'm on the search for loving forever homes.


Of course I had to have a mini-photoshoot with them...approaching 2 weeks old


It really doesn't get any cuter.


One month now...mischievous little buggars (apologies for the poopy phone quality photos)


Can't you just hear the 'MEWW'!?

If you or anyone you know is looking for a life companion, please call or email me (540-686-5888// If I don't find home for these little babes I don't know what I'm going to do with five kitties!!


Everyone knows that I'm a huuuuge animal lover.

Photography may be half my life, but the other half is, undoubtedly, animals.

I mean... I work at PETCO. I'm a PET sitter for half my neighborhood. I'm a PET mommy. I'm a college student currently gearing up for vet school so I can take care of PETS!! My life pretty much revolves around animals!!

So it's only natural that I combine my two most favorite things in the world into one! Introducing Mini Sessions for you AND your furry/feathered/scaly friends! ALL animals welcome!

Pet flyer