Thank you for being part of the VSI family! This is the second edition of our newsletter. Here is where you will find monthly tips + tricks for photography and design, links to blog posts that you may have missed, updates on our upcoming events, specials, giveaways as well as personal updates from Holly + Kristi.

We hope you enjoy!


Over the past few months, we have been working to expand our offerings in the design and branding area! The design + branding section of our website now has its own home separate from our photography portfolio. Our branding collections were created as a way to better collaborate with small business owners to create beautifully designed visual identities and print pieces to help them elevate their marketing. Make sure to visit the site for some visual candy and get in touch with me if you or someone you know is in need of a logo, full branding or website development! -Kristi

Kristi Kern  |  |  1.217.784.1310

As the 2017 school year winds down that can only mean one's time for 2018 Senior season! Since we just launched our 2018 spokesmodel program I thought this would be a perfect time to share a few tips to get those amazing senior photos

Just have fun! We’re going to make you look great and you’ll have a great time. That’s why you chose us right?  Relax, we like to think we’re pretty cool and laid back so there is no reason to be nervous! Plus, we help you with posing, so there’s no pressure on you to do anything but just show up and rock it.

Arrive 10-15 minutes early to your appointment. Showing up late means you lose camera time, and we don’t want that. Especially if you're not sure what to wear, that will give us extra time to go through your outfits and pick the best ones!

We give you unlimited wardrobe changes, so bring options. The more outfits we have to choose from, the better. This will give us flexibility in matching your clothing to backgrounds and the surroundings. Make sure you’re comfortable in your clothing. When you are comfortable you are freer to be yourself in front of the camera. Bring a variety of colors and mix the level of styles. But most importantly bring clothing that reflects you! After all, these photos are all about YOU!

Although we try to help with hair, it is hard to know what your hair “is supposed to look like.” Make sure you let us know your preferences. Better yet, bring your best friend with you for the session and he or she can help. Any hair changes during the session should be quick and simple so you have as much camera time as possible.

We love props! Bring props that help show who you are! Sports equipment, uniforms, band instrument,s and any activity that you are crazy about!

Don’t worry about clouds, overcast days are great to shoot in! But falling rain is an issue and we will have to reschedule should that happen. If that's the case we will get you in as soon as we can!

Well there you have it, just a few tips to make sure you have the best experience possible for your senior photos. If you have any other questions about your session you can always contact Kristi or me and we will be happy to answer any questions! - Holly

Ever have a fantastic idea for a social media post but not quite sure what the image size should be for a particular site? If you design things on the regular, this is all too common! I am always looking up optimal image sizing for our social media posts. I have put together a cheat sheet for just that! Feel free to copy the image and keep it handy for your reference.  -Kristi

Balancing photography and design here at VSI has been a fun journey thus far! When I joined the team back in 2014, my first task was to rebrand our studio. I realized that branding yourself is actually one of the hardest things to do, even as a designer! Over the past three+ years here, we have edited and tweaked processes and print pieces to better reflect the experience we want to offer our portrait clients. From rack cards with portrait collections, two website redesigns, branded PDFs outlining the whole VSI experience and even our Bridal Guide Magazine - all of these things we put in place to serve the photography side of VSI. But this year has been my opportunity to really take the design side of the business to the next level.

In January, we launched our Etsy store, the Design Foundry. And today we are launching the new design + branding portfolio page, Along with the launch, I’m proud to offer three different branding collections for varying budgets and needs, along with opportunities to customize with our branding add-ons and extra marketing design pieces. This is perfect for start-ups, non-profit organizations and small business owners who have a vision for their brand and feel ready to collaborate with and invest in a graphic designer. Your new visual identity will be custom to your business and include the essentials to help you develop a cohesive, authentic, beautiful brand. Great design and marketing are more affordable than you think! Be sure to take a look at the portfolio to find starting collection pricing and contact me to see if we might be a good fit to collaborate on your next design project! -Kristi



I was looking back in my calendar a few days ago and decided to count how many weddings and seniors I have shot in the almost 10 years I have been a professional photographer. It blows my mind to think how many people have let me into the most important parts of their lives. Graduating high school is one of the most fun and exciting times in your life. To be the one documenting that is such an honor. When I started counting how many weddings I had done I realized I am getting to the point where I am shooting a lot of those past senior's weddings. Wow, does that make me feel old or what? I think without a doubt it is the ultimate compliment. To shoot a wedding for a senior you might have shot in 2009 or 2010. Knowing that I left such an impression that they thought of me 7 years later to document their wedding day just blows my mind. And to take it a step further I even have a few that have had babies. So I am literally watching these 'kids' grow up and become brides and grooms and moms and dads right in front of my lens. My biggest fear is getting old in this industry. Fearing seniors and brides will only want to go to the new, young and hip photographers. But when I look back at how many of these seniors have come back it truly makes that fear disappear. I say it all the time but I am truly so thankful and blessed that this is what I get to do with my life. Thank you all who continue to support us in this awesome journey!



Here is a quick look at some of the new items in the DesignFoundry Etsy store!​

Use the code above to receive 15% off all orders of $100 or more
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312 N. Sangamon Ave. | Gibson City, Illinois 60936 | | 1.217.784.1310

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