Lisa Patchem Photography - Longmont Photographer | Blog

Longmont Photographer Lisa Patchem takes you Outside the Frame

Get all your outside-the-frame questions answered from Longmont's premier photographer, Lisa Patchem Photography

6 Tips for Better Headshot Portraits

February 17, 2016  •  1 Comment

You are a professional.

Which means, you’re busy. Deadlines, ROI, clients. All things you stress over on a daily basis. Trust me, I’m with ya. Let me, as the local premier portrait photographer, take something off your plate. Get your Longmont professional headshot portrait taken at my studio for a stress-free, easy-peasy process. (Beware: you might actually have fun!)

Here are some things to help you along the process of getting the perfect professional headshot portrait.

1. Exfoliate. Dry skin and lips are a no-no.

2. Iron your shirt. Better yet, bring in your shirts ironed and on hangers. Nothing like wrinkles to pull the viewers eye away from your gorgeous smile!

3. Clothing—wear colors that flatter you. Avoid busy patterns. DO NOT WEAR WHITE (unless it is an undershirt). Black is always in style. Stay away from trending attire, unless you want to update your headshot portrait every two to three years.

4. Leave the baggage at the door. You don’t go on your first date and spill all your inhibitions the first chance you get. It’s the same at the Longmont portrait studio. If you feel like uttering phrases of “I don’t photograph well” or “I never like my photo taken” then you are putting up a barrier from the beginning and sabotaging yourself.  If there is anything you take from this blog, it is this: The power of positive thoughts. I promise you’ll love your portrait. Guaranteed. So stop worrying.

5. Identify who your target audience is. Create a persona centered around them. Give him or her a name. This will be that perfect client you had last year. Or, imagine the best client you could ever dream of. Make this person real. Give him or her a name. Betty? Sam? Matilda? The name is up to you. Just bring them with you for your shoot.

Why? When you are thinking of your perfect client, you are content. You are not trying to be someone you aren’t. You are not desperate or needy. You are a perfect fit for them, as they are for you. THAT’s the facial expression that I as a portrait photographer am looking for. Don’t pretend to be someone else. Give me that smile that only you can make. (Lawyers, disregard that last bit. You are allowed to not smile.)

6. Understand how Image Licensing works. Here is my synopsis: As an artist, I am protected by the Copyright Act. I create an image (of an owl, a tree or your face) and I own the copyright. As my client, you then purchase the right to use it for your business needs.

When you get to the studio I will ask you about how many digital files you were looking to license. Did you want just one? Some business people want two or three; one photo with the jacket, the other more casual. Think of the different applications you will use these for—Facebook, LinkedIn, business cards, website. There is no right answer—just one that fits your needs! You pay just $99 for the license of each image.

We would love to work with you!

Longmont Photography Classes

January 20, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Did you get a shiny new camera for Christmas? Or maybe you got it some time ago…and it never left the box. If you are wanting to learn more about your camera and/or about photography in general, then listen up: Longmont’s premier portrait photographer is now offering Longmont Photography Classes!

Classes range from beginner to advanced, and all are welcomed! We will focus on answering all your questions. From technical information to artsy-fartsy stuff, these will be hands-on, not-your-typical classes. Material discussed will be based on who is in attendance, so it will be great for students, amateurs, semi-professionals, mothers, grandmothers, and business owners—just to name a few! So don’t miss out!

Longmont Photography Class 101 (beginners) $25
You can’t get more basic than this! Have a fancy camera that you got for Christmas but don’t know what all the buttons are for? Want to take better pics of the kids? Or better selfies? Need to get those photos off the camera and onto the computer? Wait no longer; this class is for you! Bring your cameras to class.


Longmont Photography Class 201 (intermediate) $35
This is for amateurs, hobbyists, and enthusiasts looking to take the next step in Photography. Have you been photographing on automatic and want more control? Do you tell yourself you need to learn more about lighting but don’t know where to start? Topics covered: exposure, color balance, camera & lenses choices, image processing, software overview, editing, output & printing, lighting & set up, equipment overview, and more! Each session will be different as we will tailor the class to the individuals who attend. This is the class to ask questions! Come back again and again to learn more!


Longmont Photography Class 301 (advanced) $35
Do you dream of quitting your day job? Are you ready to take your hobby to the next step? There is a lot more to running a photography business other than just good photography. Whether it is portraiture, wedding photography, selling stock images, or commercial photography—this class is ideal for finding out more about what your photography future holds.


Workflow (Overview of Bridge CC, Photoshop CC, & Lightroom CC) $35
Spend more time with your kids by becoming more efficient with your software. Spending too much time editing? Learn Lightroom. Need to fix some exposures? Learn to shoot in RAW. Want to play in Photoshop? You’ve come to the right class. Each session will be different as we will tailor the class to the individuals who attend. This is the class to ask questions! Come back again and again to learn more!


External Lighting $35

Out in the field? Speed lights are your friend!
Don’t leave your shoot to chance—get planned results every time! Shooting in the middle of the day? On a rare cloudy sky? Control the situation for perfect and consistent results.


Critique class ($10 for your work to be critiqued; limited slots per evening)

Keep the emotion away from your pursuit of better photography portfolio. This open discussion critique class is to help photographers learn to see their work from an outsider’s eye. Critique is not positive nor negative—it’s simply stating what is seen. This is the most important investment a photographer can make! You can’t afford to miss this!
Limited slots per evening, so preregister to guarantee your placement. Printed images are recommended; digital files are acceptable but must be submitted to us prior to class. We recommend showing us at least 5 images of cohesive work.

About Lisa Patchem:

Growing up as a fine artist gave Lisa something very different from other photographers—an understanding of light and form from an early age. She was painting portraits before photography came into her life. In fact, it was through Adobe Photoshop that she entered into the photographic world. She worked at several photography studios before deciding to complete her photography education at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where she studied under some of the best instructors in the world. She later worked for a retouching house before starting her own retouching services business. Lisa operated two other photography businesses after leaving NYC, one of which was Anchors Aweigh Photography, LLC, where she catered to the military. She moved to Colorado in 2013 to open up Lisa Patchem Photography, LLC and then Silver Star Boudoir in 2014. She is a member of Professional Photographers of America and continues to educate herself and other fellow photography enthusiasts.

While classically trained, Lisa’s passion is the business side of her photography business:

“It is important to me that we as artists don’t undercut ourselves—that making a living doing what you love is not only a possibility but can be a darn successful adventure!”

  • Bachelor’s degree in Photography, SVA, NYC
  • Alumni scholarship, 2008
  • Speaker at SVA’s student workshop
  • 3 photography shows in NYC, 2007-2008
  • Accepted into the MFA digital arts program
  • Permanent gallery collection in NJ, 2009
  • Article in Boulder Magazine, 2014
  • 2 photography shows in Colorado, 2015

Professional Photography - Experience the Difference Part I

September 24, 2015  •  Leave a Comment
Yes, there are a lot of photographers out there to choose from. Too many, you say? No way! I say the more, the merrier. However, of all of those photographers out there, how many are truly professional?

What makes me a professional—and what I have built my business around—is my out-of-the-box thinking. It occurred to me some years ago that I shouldn’t be following other photographers’ styles, many of whom I worked for at one time or another. I should be catering to my own style, my particular strengths. But what was my style?

Have you ever had an “ah-ha!” moment when you see or think of an innovation for something that was right in front of you? Such as using a pinch clip to hold your cords. Or Chewbeads—best idea ever, second only to the candy necklace. Anyway… that rush of “OMG how did we all not figure this out before?” and then the flood of ideas like, how you are going to start a business around that concept?

My idea for what my style should be came to me as all good ideas come to people. My idea? Using Photoshop as a tool to help fulfill my vision of being a great photographer! You see, I’m one of those rare photographers who actually likes to spend my time in front of the computer editing. Seriously! I do not use Photoshop to fix as many photographers do; I use it to create. That’s the core of my business—to create.

Example: One of my clients wanted a “diptic” (like a collage) of her children on the wall—a close-up of the son, and a pulled-away pic of the daughter.

See here:

Well, that wasn't going to fly. I need to zoom in on the daughter and pull back on the son. Except that the exposure they choose for the son didn’t allow for any more room to pull back! (I know, I know—don’t crop in-camera; lesson learned, photogs.) So, not to let my clients down, I knew I could manage it in ’shop. I grabbed another exposure of the son (which I hadn’t cropped in-camera) and then placed the desired exposure onto this new one. Results? Happy clients none the wiser (except when they see this post, of course). What do you think?

So there I am, figuring out that most other photographers don’t like Photoshop and don’t do things like this. Hmmm... Well I can do it and I love to do it.. AH-HA! That's the moment when I realized what my style was going to involve.

Fact is, this isn’t Sears. This isn’t a simple smile-and-click experience. I expect my clients to commit to their photography session—financially, emotionally, and mentally. But it really comes down to trust and expectation. And that expectation doesn’t come from every photographer in town. It applies to the people who respect small business, artists, quality, and talent. In return, they receive what they paid for. Top-quality, one-of-kind products and personalization.

Here are some more examples showing exactly what makes Lisa Patchem Photography, Longmont Photographer, different from the rest. (I’m lucky I work in a profession that is so visual, so I can show you what I mean.)


This high school senior loves to doodle. I think she’s pretty good at it, too! I asked her to scan a few of her sketchbooks, and this is what I did with her photos:

Before + After



Three kiddos are hard enough to manage as it is, throw a 6 month old in with a 4 and 7 year old and you get a photoshop dream.  As you can see from the first portrait, everyone looks great except for the little guy. This is by far the most requested post production skill that is asked of me.  Usually it is really easy and yields great results!


As you can see, I’m up to every creative challenge. Sun rays? No problem. Stray hairs and pimples? Don't stand a chance with me. Your right eye is better than your left!? Don’t even mention it, I got it. That is the care and professionalism that you receive at Longmont’s premier portrait studio, Lisa Patchem Photography. “Nothing leaves my studio unpolished,” I say. People ask, “Doesn't that take a lot of time?” I answer, “Yes, but isn’t that what people expect—perfection? I would!”

Contact the studio today to schedule your next Longmont Family Photography session today. Weather you live in Boulder, Erie or Frederick - Lisa's Studio is not too far away!

Light On, Creatives in Longmont, Colorado

July 14, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Photographers. Graphic designers. Copywriters. Web designers. These creative freelancers gather around a table every other week for a many-hour meeting. Business meeting? Social meeting? Longmont Meetup art group? Yes—all of these, all in one.

A collaboration among creatives.

Collaboration isn't new to Longmont, Colorado. Places like TinkerMill and Launch Longmont both boast collaboration projects with like-minded members. Light On, however, is especially for creatives.

Light On, Creatives for Community, is a Longmont, Colorado–based group of creative individuals who gather to better their Boulder and Longmont communities, their industries, and themselves (and maybe have some fun while they're at it). Their first major project is a Business Face-Lift open to Longmont business owners and non-profits. The carefully chosen winner will receive an arsenal of skillsets that can be applied toward his or her business. Think updated headshots, a website overhaul, a redesigned logo, and maybe even a new kick-ass marketing plan. Individuals in the group will be matched up according to the needs of the winning business. Contact here for more information.

So… guess who's involved? That's right, your very own Longmont Portrait Photographer, Lisa Patchem Photography. The reason I joined Light On is because I wanted to assist in the development of our business arts community here in Longmont. I believe that with healthy collaboration comes a steady growth in our industries, such as portrait photography. There is plenty of work out there for all Longmont portrait photographers, so no need to underbid one another, hurting the industry. I want to help other photographers and creatives be better at what they do for the good of our community.


Meet the rest of the current Light On members:

Light On Creatives For Community Light On Creatives For Community Light On Creatives For Community Light On Creatives For Community Light On Creatives For Community Light On Creatives For Community Light On Creatives For Community Light On Creatives For Community Light On Creatives For Community


Does this group interest you? Sign up on our Light On Meet Up group or check us out on Light On Facebook page. As always, contact Longmont portrait photographer Lisa Patchem for more information. Do you have a group that could use headshots like these? Visit our contact page to fill out your inquiry.  Lisa would love to work with you!

A Longmont Photographer’s ArtWalk

May 13, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

It’s a Saturday afternoon, a beautiful day in Downtown Longmont. Families start piling in from all directions, having arrived on foot, on bikes, or by car. Main Street is temporarily closed down and side streets are blocked off to keep everyone safe. Children, tugging at Mom’s hand in an effort to break loose, eagerly start seeking out all the art experiences, like caricatures, face-painting, and sidewalk chalk ready and waiting outside of storefronts, the streets a blank canvas for young imaginations. Pretty soon, professional artists start painting right there in the streets, and the beautiful sounds of a grand piano echo off the brick breezeway. There are smiling faces all around as neighbors meet up to support their artist friends, and children run around, happily messy with chalk on their faces or fingerpaint on their hands.

Longmont’s ArtWalk is a community coming together—laughter, merriment, hustle and bustle. Brightly colored banners show the way to the many local businesses that support this privately funded art event. Musicians and fine artists alike are represented at Ziggi’s Coffee, Crackpots Pottery Studio, and Adorn Gift Shop, just to name a few. They’re sponsors who have believed in this event for many years. These businesses are not art galleries, but they truly support art in the community, and that’s where the fun begins.

Artists, musicians, and other talents of all types are lured to Downtown Longmont for entertainment, experience, and exposure. And somewhere in this multi-block event is a 16 year-old jewelry maker who dares to venture out into the real world, her first attempt at professionalism. She borrows a tent from a neighbor, a pink tablecloth from her mother. With encouragement from her Longmont High School art teacher, she shows off her talent to anyone who will pause to watch her. She wraps stone, bends copper wire, and riffles through her colorful bead collection. She’s nervous and thrilled at the same time to have this opportunity. She has a smile on her face; she is an artist in action.

Local Longmont downtown businesses support ArtWalk by hosting veteran and emerging artists in their stores to help draw the crowds inside. For when the generous businesses open their doors and the artists gather show off their talents, people come from miles around to enjoy it all. Events like these help out the local arts community and inspire other artists to push their work even more, to become more. Because of this, Longmont has fought for and earned the title of Creative District in Colorado. Plus, the money raised by these businesses helps keep ArtWalk a free event, so stop in and say thank you!

Have you heard about ArtWalk’s newest addition? It’s a mobile app that binds 21st-century technology with old-school community love and brotherhood. Get it here: blah blah blah.

Lisa Patchem, Longmont Photographer, is a proud supporter of Longmont’s ArtWalk. She joined the board in 2014 and hopes

to be a part of its promising future for a long time to come. Call her today to learn how you can get involved in the local Longmont arts scene.



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