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Styling Portraits with Jill Wellington Photography


Hi!  My name is Jill Wellington and I am a portrait photographer in Michigan where we enjoy the blessings of all four seasons.   My specialty is styling my portraits.  I am constantly scouring thrift stores and garage sales for great clothing and props for my portraits.

In this autumn photo of Miss Ella, I purchased the straw hat from a thrift store and hot-glued fake flowers onto it...also from the thrift store!  In fact, everything in the photo besides Ella is from a thrift store!


I chat with my customers and figure out colors and personality. Then I carefully plan out the location and all the styling details.

 Tristan loved playing fireman, especially since his dad is a firefighter. Well, maybe this wasn't a great idea...he got so excited, he turned to me and sprayed my camera!  Ha ha!

Oh, the perils of photography...SO worth the risks!


I love to capture a child's personality and interests especially in birthday photos!

I search out natural locations.

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I especially love to capture birthdays in their season!

Miss Emma celebrated her 2nd birthday sharing tea and cake with a fancy snow-woman, and some forest friends.  Lots of fun styling this shoot!

It's simple to clip flowers and bows to thrift store hats.

I found this size 6 dress at Goodwill and pinned it under her jacket so it is long and flowing on a two-year-old.


I always strive to go beyond the snapshot to create something unique and special for each person I photograph!


Two-year-old Cole loved TRAINS!  I photographed the train at our children's zoo and created this FUN composite that is highly personal for the parents to cherish.  I do a lot of composite work including adding the background, the engineer's hat, the bell in his hand , the pile of coal and the lettering in Photoshop!


With high school seniors, I shoot lots of smiles, but I always capture one photo that shows their passion.  I carefully think out the details for these shots from location to wardrobe.

I was at the top of a ladder for this shot because I wanted to include the pond!


Winter is my favorite season for portraits!

I have lots of winter wear I found at thrift stores!


With children, I have to shoot longer than a few minutes outdoors.


I shoot in the worst of conditions including this blizzard:


Beyond the styling, I love capturing emotion and natural expression.


I also adore vintage, so I shoot an ongoing series called Vintage Val.

Here she is getting ready for a Vintage VALentine's date.  Yep, styled with thrift store goodies! Isn't that pink phone divine?


I hope this inspires you to check out some thrift stores, or you can start by looking around your own house for furniture, clothing and props.

Portrait photography is all about capturing the essence of a person in a single moment!

Check out more of my Jill Wellington Photography portrait work on my website and Facebook.

I teach photography and photo editing on my blog.

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