Top Tips for Capturing Precious Moments in the New Year

by Dara Klatt

Crystal Tseng Photography

Crystal Tseng Photography

Whether you want to savor newborn cheeks and tiny fingers, hang up family photos along the remodeled staircase, or update your social media accounts with a headshot you love, the new year is a good time to professionally take and frame elegant, beautiful shots. Beyond the fall foliage photos you may have rushed out the door for holiday cards, professional studio images can provide that timeless, exceptional quality.

We spoke to Crystal Tseng, of Crystal Teng Photography, a custom portrait studio in Ellicott City, Md. that opened one year ago. Tseng, who immigrated to the United States from Taiwan in 2007, has always been curious about the technical aspects of photography, and manipulating shutter speed, aperture, and lighting, while also recognizing the importance of artistic expression and a fully tailored approach. After her daughters (and soon-to-be muses) were born, Tseng went all in on her photography studio.

Crystal Tseng Photography

Along with traditional photography services, Tseng offers styling sessions within each shoot through clothing selection, professional makeup and hair offerings, to designing the display of clients’ portrait series with their homes.

Here are her top four tips for ensuring the best photograph possible:

Practice. Find your best smile and practice a couple poses in front of the mirror. Although your photographer will guide you at the photoshoot, some practice ahead of time will help you get used to posing and will eventually help you relax at the real shoot.

Relax. On the day of the photoshoot, a gentle neck yoga exercise will help drain the retaining water in your face after sleeping and get a more smooth and relaxed look.

Speak up. At the photoshoot, be sure to tell your photographer your preference such as the side of the face you prefer to be photographed, which might also affect the studio lighting. Then just trust your photographer and don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of facial expressions.

Hire a stylist. It’s worth every cent to hire a professional hair and makeup artist. A makeup artist knows what works best for a photoshoot and will also help you feel confident in front of the lens.

Tseng’s session fees range from $250 to $350 and cover outfit consultations and a one-hour photoshoot. A typical investment in photos and products is approximately $3,000. Visit



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