The Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year Gala, honoring John Leone, was splendid this year, and took place in the beautiful Arlington Town Hall. Here are some of my favorites:
I was honored to be able to capture H’s birthday party for the third year in a row this past weekend! This year she chose to have her party at Beadles Bead Shop & Boutique in Chelmsford Center. What a fantastic little shop it was — so many amazingly gorgeous beads I had to be careful not to get too distracted 🙂 I was super impressed with how they ran the party, with little kits for a necklace and bracelet ready to go in a rainbow of colors (and even some kits that were the whole rainbow all together!). H and her friends seemed to have a great time threading their beads, and trading for ones they wanted. And H’s mom made a stunningly gorgeous cake, as always! Here’s a little peek at their celebration:
What a treat to get to hang out with nine month old baby M and her parents! At nine months old, M is on the move, super social, and overall a major delight. She’s also definitely got a strong sense of when naptime is, and at nine months old definitely doesn’t care if it’s in the middle of her portrait session! Luckily, this is one of the reasons I like to allow plenty of time for family portraits — after we played for a bit and she had a snack, she fell sweetly asleep and I loved getting to snag some shots of her sleeping oh so adorably in her parents’ loving arms. We could have ended there, but when she woke up she was more ready than ever to play and we had a great finish to the session! Here are a few of my favorites:
My May 5th Spring Mini-Sessions are quickly coming up and I’m getting really excited. Often times I get a lot of questions about the mini-sessions from parents and thought I would compile an Mini-Session FAQ for anyone that may have similar questions. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Who are mini-sessions for?
Mini Sessions are great for clients who are busy and don’t have a lot of time for a full photo session or just want a few updated photos for gifts or cards. If you find you’re always scrambling in the Fall to get pictures done for your holiday cards, this is a great way to get that to-do item off your plate early in the year. Mini-sessions can be a great fit for families, couples, or even individuals who just need an updated headshot. If you’d like to have more people at your mini-session (grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles) I recommend booking two slots back to back so we have a little more time to accommodate them.
What happens at a mini-session?
A mini-session is a little taste of my full sessions — We’ll do some posed shots, play some games, and get a chance to capture the love in your family.
Why are you fundraising for the Peirce Elementary School PTO?
Right now, budgeting is tight in our public schools, and the PTO works hard to support teachers and the students to make sure they have those little extras that help make school a better learning experience for everyone — from building a science to garden to building community that helps students feel safe, supported, and welcome at school, this is really vital work for our town to have happy healthy kids who grow into happy healthy adults!
What does my session fee cover?
Your session fee covers the photographer’s time for the session itself and editing your images. Your session fee includes three full-resolution digital downloads with a print release (so you can print anywhere you choose). You have the option to purchase additional files and professional prints through my lab (those purchase will also help support the Peirce PTO!).
Can I pick my location?
All of these mini-sessions will take place by the beautiful Arlington Reservoir and walking path.
Why do you have such early timeslots and late timeslots? It would be so much easier to do this at noon!
The images you see in my portfolio were shot at what photographers call “Golden Hour” — within two hours of sunrise or sunset, when the light is at its most flattering. The light in the middle of the day has harsh shadows that are not as appealing. With this particular location, there is some open shade a little later in the morning that allows for a bit more time of usable light. Those early morning sessions are perfect for families with little ones who are up anyway, and are also great for families with older kids who may have sports or other activities later in the morning — you can support this fundraiser without messing up any of your other Saturday plans!
My spring sessions are on May 5th at the Peirce Elementary School. I would love for you to be a part of them! Sign-up here.
With all the snow storms hitting Boston, it may not feel like it, but spring is just around the corner! March 20th marks the first official day and I couldn’t be more excited. Don’t get me wrong, I do love snow-filled photo shoots, but am completely ready for spring backdrops and warm weather to be here.
To get you excited for warmer weather, I am sharing 5 fun tips on how you can capture the perfect spring photos this year… try one or all five –
- Kids jumping in puddles – Splashing in puddles is not only fun for your little ones, but it makes for a great photo op! The look of pure joy on their faces will make the mess worth it! Imagine your little one running around in a rain jacket and umbrella – We can, of course, save these photos for last!
- Babies in a field of flowers – Newborns, toddlers, teenagers and adults for that matter! One of my favorite parts of spring are the new blooms the warm weather brings. Flowers make a stunning backdrop and whether you’re sitting in a field or walking through, the candids are sure to be amazing.
- Pop of color or accessories – Break out that favorite spring dress or colorful outfit. Yellows, bright blues, oranges and pinks will instantly put a smile on your face for your photo shoot. OR add a flower crown for a fun addition.
- Picnic in the green grass – What better way to celebrate spring that in a field of lush green grass? It’s a simplistic, yet beautiful backdrop.
- Balloons – Whether your backdrop is water, a brick wall or a field of flowers, colorful balloons always make for a cute prop! The color contrast is perfect if you plan on sending out printed cards!
PLUS, I am excited to announce that I am now booking spring mini-sessions on May 5th that will benefit the Peirce Elementary School PTO! Reserve your preferred time here!
The Boston Workmen’s Circle’s annual children’s Purim party was a blast this year! The 3rd graders did an excellent job with their Purim Spiel (play), and there were lots of fun carnival games for all the kids to play. I loved seeing all the kids’ costumes and we set up a photo booth so they could all hop in front of the camera! Here are some of my favorites:
What a pleasure to get to photograph the 2nd Annual Peirce School PTO 80s Night this past weekend! The music was fun, the costumes were impressive, and it was all for an excellent cause. It was an amazing party, and I invite you to get a little taste of how much fun was had by all with some of my favorites from the night:
It was so fantastic to be back on the Boston University campus working with the folks in the CRESCENT program again! This time I worked with a mix of faculty members, grad students, and post docs. We were in the same space I shot in this past Fall, but this time I tried a few different things, including taking advantage of a big plant by one of the windows, which got us some neat results. We also used some of the other views, not just looking out down Commonwealth Avenue, but also across the river and even looking over to Fenway Park. Here are my favorites:
From taking photos of my own family to other families, its a privilege and a passion that I will forever LOVE!!! With Valentine’s Day just on the horizon, I thought I would pair five things I love about taking photos with with recent photography work that I also love. Enjoy!
1. Documenting memories: The importance of photos will only grow as our lives go on. Looking back and being able to see beautiful photos of my kids at every age will forever be my favorite reason why I take photos – To forever preserve these precious moments in time.
2. Creating a moment: Often times I find myself caught up in the moment that comes with every photography session. Truely getting lost in the moment with my camera and my clients is what allows my best work to shine through.
3. Telling a story: Every photo we/I take tells a different story. Whether is be love, pain, happiness, empathy, fear, or pure joy, each photo has it’s own little story. How cool is that?!
4. Provoking emotions: Nothing brings me more joy than to watch my clients look through their photos. Looking at beautiful images of their family provokes heart-warming emotions that I will never get tired of watching.
5. Freedom & art: Photography allows me the freedom to be my own artist. Each day and at every photography session I am constantly working on perfecting my art. It’s something I love and feel so lucky to get to do for work.
Do you take photos? What do you love about it?
Last week I had the pleasure of heading over to Brookline to meet baby Oliver and his parents. He was *such* a sweetheart, and so happy to be wrapped up and moved around. I especially loved some of the little special touches we got to include in his session — things that are important to his parents. They both went to Boston College, so you will notice a lot of maroon and gold on this page along with the occasional BC logo 🙂 I also LOVED that we got to use blankets made by two of his great-grandmothers, one on each side — a gorgeous handknit lace cream blanket from his mom’s side, and a sweet and fun baby quilt made by his great-grandmother on his dad’s. This little guy also has inherited quite the rattle — it was originally his great-grandfather’s in the Netherlands! I love these little bits and pieces that tie generations together. Here are a few of my favorites from his session:
It was so nice to spend time this past Wednesday with brand new baby Sydney and her moms. She was such a sweetheart, and I especially loved getting to use a blanket made by her great-grandmother, the bassinet one of her moms had slept in as a baby herself, and some very special quilts made just for her. As a formerly cloth-diapering mom myself I also totally loved the super cute diaper cover she had on.
One thing I often get asked about are feeding breaks during a newborn session — like most newborns, Sydney wanted to feed pretty frequently (such small tummies! So much growing to do!) and you know what? Every time she showed any hunger cues we just took a feeding break, no big deal at all — it’s how the rhythm of a newborn session often goes — get a few shots, take a break, get a few more shots, take another break — these tiny humans are just barely starting to get used to “outside” life so that’s just how it goes 🙂
Here are a few of my favorites from her newborn portrait session:
Do often find yourself being the family photographer but are never in any of the photos? If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Most Moms (and some Dads too) take hundreds and hundreds of photos of their kids but opt to not be in the photo. I’m here to tell you that you have to START making it a priority to be in photos, not just for your sake, but for your kid’s sake. How sad would it be to look back and have no photos of you and your kiddos?!
As a Mom of three boys I understand that not every moment is picture perfect. Your hair is a mess, you have no make-up on, you have throw-up on you, you look tired, you feel fat… the list of excuses seems to go on and on. While self-loathing is a concern so is being able to physically get yourself in the photo. Unless you’re a selfie pro, camera timer pro or can ask someone “can you take our photo” it can be really hard to get into the picture.
As a professional photographer, I’ve captured endless family photos, most that include Mom in them. And when we think about how little Mom is actually in the family photos, these professional photos become even more valuable. During all my photo sessions I encourage both parents to take an integral role in the photos, mostly because I know how important these photos will be one day. Most moms are happy to be in the shot cause it’s not stressful and they’re prepped for the shoot knowing they will be in a photo.
The next time you’re thinking about booking a photography session think about the value of having a professional come and take photos of not just your kids but of your family, including YOU! It’s a gift to yourself, your kids and loved ones you will never regret.
Check out all the happy moments below for some inspiration!
Oh my goodness! After two newborns this week, I finished out a week of babies with four month old Lydia, whose parents have chosen to go with a First Year package to document how she grows during this amazing first year of life. It was such a joy to see how much she’s changed since her newborn session — interacting with toys and the people and world around her in whole new ways. Her mother is a brilliant quilter, so we of course incorporated some pretty amazing quilts into the session, and her grandparents were visiting, so they joined in, too! Here are some of my favorites:
Continuing my baby-filled week, I got to meet baby Helen, along with her parents and older brother. I always love getting to see older siblings with a new baby, and these two were particularly sweet together. Here’s a little bit of a taste of my time with this awesome family:
It’s a baby-filled week, and it kicked off with a newborn session with baby Caden! As many first babies are, he was a little later than his parents expected, so mom’s plans for baby photos as Christmas presents had to be delayed slightly, but we still got in some shots that really spoke to some deep interests of Caden’s family members — particularly baseball and boats, and of course with a birthday right before Christmas we got the chance to use the holiday lights in Caden’s portraits as well. Here’s a little peek at our time together:
We had to delay a week because of a snow storm, and the morning was quite chilly, but it was a beautiful time to be at Menotomy Rocks Park in Arlington taking headshots of Mary, a social worker. The snow on the ground served as a lovely natural reflector and the light was just perfect. Here are a few of my favorites from our session:
What a treat to get to meet baby R! He was a total sweetheart. In this session, I especially loved getting to use some special items — a blanket from his parents’ very close friends and R’s mom’s wedding veil (a stunningly gorgeous red, though a little scratchy so we had to get creative to figure out how to use it without bothering baby’s sensitive skin). Here’s a little peek at my time with R and his family!
What a treat to get to spend some time with Carrie this week. She has recently had a children’s book accepted for publication — a major feat! It was a little chilly, but we had a lovely walk around the Arlington Reservoir taking advantage of all the early Winter scenery. Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:
It’s that time of year where my focus shifts to more indoor photo portrait sessions and I am glad it does! Although the great outdoors makes for beautiful backdrops, there’s something special about photographing families in their homes. I am happy to share with you my top 4 reasons why I love indoor sessions –
- Comfortable setting – Kids (and adults) tend to act more at ease and relaxed in front of a camera when they’re in their own home… This safe space makes for the most personal sessions. I especially love it when kids share their favorite books with me or the whole family gets involved in an activity (playing a game, building with blocks, cooking, etc).
- Sessions are unaffected by weather – If there’s one thing we cannot control in life, it’s the weather! Although snowy backdrops are some of my favorites, uncontrollable wind or rain can put a damper on a session. So, with indoor portraits, we eliminate this stress completely and can spend more energy on capturing great photos.
- Personalized backdrops – Featuring your home or favorite room in your photos can add a nice touch to any photo session. It freezes a moment in a space that you spend time in every day. Looking back on the photos, this backdrop could be the house your child grew up in or a way to remember the first home you lived in as a family.
- A variety of backdrops all in one place – If you can’t decide on one backdrop, indoor sessions are for you! Without having to travel far, you can change up backdrops by taking portraits in your favorite room, your newborn baby’s room, or in front of a colorful rug.
Here’s a peek at some indoor portraits below! I hope you enjoy and feel free to reach out if you would like to learn more about booking indoor photo sessions.
It’s been many years since I last was on the Boston University campus. It was a huge treat to get to see one of the new buildings from the inside, and to meet 19 of the faculty of the CRESCENT program. I loved hearing about their work and getting to know them a little bit over the course of the two days I spent photographing them. You might think that with 19 faculty headshots it would all be the same and a little boring, but each person really helped to individualize their images, whether that came out in something small like how they stood, or a larger gesture like being asked to be photographed with a large piece of equipment used in their research. Here’s a little peek!
This little sweetheart waited until she was good and ready to enter the world, and I got to meet her when she was one week old. One of my favorite moments during her portrait session was when, after a set with both mom and baby C, her mom commented that she’d gotten some lipstick on her, and before she wiped it off, I got a quick shot of that kiss’s remnant — so much love in this family <3 Here’s a little peek at our time together.
Small Business Saturday is right around the corner and it got me thinking about when I made the leap three years ago (November 2014) to start my own business. I often get asked why, when, and how did I get my start in photography. It’s been an amazing three years and today I wanted to share more of my story and wisdom with you. Let me know if you have any questions!
- Why I got my start: I’ve always loved portrait photography since I was a young teenager. Several years ago, I found I was being asked by more and more friends to take their holiday card photos, and I started looking into what would be involved in starting a portrait photography business. One of the reasons I majored in history in college was that I loved learning about people’s stories, and helping to re-tell them, and this seemed like a fantastic way I could do that in a different medium.
- Why I love it: My favorite part of having my own portrait photography business is that it’s never boring — there is always something new, and each client I work with brings a little of themselves to their portrait session, so even when I’m doing lots of the same type of portrait work it’s always a little different each time.
- The biggest reward for being my own boss: I can pursue something I’m passionate about and truly chart my own course while still helping to support my family.
- My advice for future business owners: Research, Research, Research!! Do your homework and figure out what direction you want to go in, and it will be much easier to get there.
A little less than a year ago, I got a message through the Arlington, MA Chamber of Commerce website, a message asking for a donation for a fundraiser in honor of a local high school student who had passed away after a brief, but heroic battle with a rare cancer. Always happy to support the local community, I donated a voucher for my services. Earlier this fall, the winner of that voucher got in touch to schedule her portrait session, and this past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting not just her and her lovely husband and children, but her wonderful mother-in-law and her husband’s sister’s family as well. The temperature was frigid (not even quite up to the freezing mark, even with doing the session a little later in the morning than usual — possible because of the cloud cover giving us more time with diffuse light), but everyone was in remarkably good spirits and we sped through a whole bunch of different combinations of siblings and cousins. They were a seriously fun group to work with and I’m so pleased to be able to share with you a little bit of a peek into our time together:
Brr!!!! With a low of 17 degrees today, and a high in the low 30s, it was pretty chilly. Regina was a trooper, though, as we walked around the Alewife area for her senior portraits. This gorgeous girl is going to go far — I loved hearing about what she wants to study in college and which classes she enjoys most. Here’s a little peek at our time together (don’t worry — she put on a nice warm coat in between locations!):
When I do in-home, or in-office headshots, I’m always curious what I’ll walk in to in terms of lighting. While I do have a flash I can use in a pinch, I much prefer to work with natural light, and one inherent quality of natural light is that it is very dependent on the surroundings and varies quite a bit. Walking into C’s home, I was so glad to see such gorgeous light, and after we’d done some inside, she even braved the cold and let me take a few outdoors as well. Here’s a little peek at our time together:
Such a treat to get to meet up with these folks in Lexington the other day! They have recently welcomed into their home a teenage cousin, and it was a wonderful opportunity to take portraits to celebrate their newly expanded family. I loved seeing all the love between them, and especially how close the two young ones are to their older cousin! As I often do with family portraits involving young children, we finished up with some time on the playground just letting loose. Here’s a little peek at our time together:
After a great morning session, I kept a very nervous eye on the weather as the large storm system moved towards Arlington. It was starting to drizzle as I headed to the Arlington Reservoir for this shoot with L, a 7th grader who wanted fall portraits. She was a great sport about the damp, and I loved hearing all about how school is going for her this year. Here’s a little peek at L’s portrait session:
We were a little nervous about the weather, but it held beautifully for this early morning family portrait session in Winchester. We had fantastic fall color still (this was before the wind storm brought a lot of the trees down), and it was such a treat to get to spend two hours with these folks — Big kids E and J were so goofy and fun to work with (and brought some very important plush friends along who you will see prominently featured in these portraits), and baby D was so sweet! After a little while, their mom went to the car, saying she had something special for them to wear — little did I expect her to come back with rainbow poop emoji hats for the boys! They had so much fun playing around with those 🙂 Here’s a little peek at our time together:
We could not possibly have had better weather for this family session in Lexington, MA the other day. Perfect light, warm, but not hot, and a family with so much love to share. We had a great time exploring this bit of conservation land, and playing games, and I loved hearing all about how Miss M. is enjoying first grade. This fall is bringing some major changes for these folks, and it was a true privilege to get to capture their family in this moment.
What a treat to get to meet these folks on Saturday evening! We had a great time exploring Minuteman National Park, and checking out the beginning of the Fall foliage (it’s a little late this year, and no wonder the trees are a bit confused with all this super warm and humid weather we’ve been having). Check out some of my favorites!
I know, we all think we have so much time to prep for holiday season until suddenly Thanksgiving shows up out of nowhere! GET AHEAD of this busy season so that you can actually enjoy your time off with family and friends.
If creating a holiday card is on your to-do list this year, I recommend scheduling your photo session during the fall. The foliage is perfect and the cold weather isn’t quite here yet, so an outdoor photo shoot is actually enjoyable! Not to mention, it’s great to get this done before it gets too dark out after work.
Once you your photo session is complete, there are endless options for creating print work. You can get your professional photos printed on blankets, canvases, calendars and more! This time of year, the most popular request I get is for fall photo shoots, so that families can use these photos for their holiday cards! Read my 3 tips below on how to design a holiday card people will love –
- Coordinate your outfits – You don’t have to match exactly, but if your family comes dressed in cohesive fall colors, your photos will look even better when printed!
- Make it simple yet eye catching – Don’t over clutter your card with a collage of 10 photos. Clean and simple doesn’t necessarily mean boring, but choose 1-3 of your favorite photos to highlight, will make your card stand out.
- Use quality materials to print – If you’re investing in a professional photographer to take your photo, it’s worth it to use quality paper to print your card on. There are also ways to spruce up the overall look with foil stamping or embossing.
Need help designing and printing your cards? Check out my 5 go-to sites for printing holiday cards –
- Minted – I have a 15% off code for Minted orders for all my clients, just email me to get the code!
- Tiny Prints
- Pear Tree
Check them out and see which one seems like the best fit for you! A lot of these websites will send the holiday cards directly to your address list, so you can save time by stuffing envelopes.
Thanks for reading and feel free to reach out if you would like to get a head start on holiday cards by booking your fall photo shoot – firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s hard to believe it’s been six months since I saw baby J and his mom. This week J turned one, and we had a lovely portrait session in the Fells to mark the occasion. It was especially nice to have J’s dad at this session, since he had been called away on a business trip unexpectedly and had to miss our last session. Loved seeing these guys interact with their little one. Some favorites:
Driving out west for this session it was such a treat to see the trees starting to turn! When I arrived and met baby D and his mom, I loved seeing just how much love there is between them. I also loved seeing the blanket and hat with Dax’s name — such a sweet thing for his mama to get for him, and I was glad to be able to incorporate it into his portraits. We also had some very friendly assistance from some furry family members — one of whom was able to jump in for a quick cameo with her new human baby sibling 🙂 Here are some of my favorites from our time together:
Boston City Singers is an organization very close to my heart (I sang with them as a kid back when they were the Dorchester Division of Youth pro Musica). It was SUCH a pleasure to get to photograph several of their Cambridge choruses yesterday afternoon and evening. I particularly loved watching the explanation for the younger children, using chairs (and how many people needed to sit on each!) to explain the rhythm of the song they were working on. Here are a few of my favorites from the afternoon:
Just a few weeks ago, on a foggy morning, I met up with Anna & Ian for a maternity shoot as they were waiting for baby C’s arrival. What a treat, then, to get to meet him on the outside! With a beautiful array of hand-made quilts, we had fun playing with our options 🙂 I loved how alert he was — just soaking in this whole new world <3 Here are a few of my favorites!
“Mindfullness n. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.”
How amazing is it that some schools are choosing to incorporate mindfullness into their curricula? I was lucky to spend the evening last Wednesday with Betsy, who teaches mindfulness in urban schools. I can only imagine how huge the benefit is to students who learn such an important life-long technique for how to be in the world (I know lots of adults, myself included, who struggle with it!). We had some really gorgeous light and took the oppportunity to explore a little further afield from a favorite spot for headshots to get a bit more of an urban feel. Here are a few of my favorites:
“This is my twin. We’re really cousins though. Can you take our picture?” Oh my goodness, is there a better way for a photographer to be greeted when she arrives an extended family shoot? What a fun session with a good mix of posed and candid opportunities. After all the backyard shots we all wandered over to a nearby playground where the kids could let loose!
As a mom of three myself, I undestand so well the chaos that can come when a third baby arrives and that sometimes things slip to the bottom of the to-do list. Baby L was a little older than I normally work with for newborn portraits, but she was a joy to work with, and I thoroughly enjoyed the energy her older sister and brother brought to the session! With an older baby it’s especially important to follow my newborn session prep guide to ensure we have the best possible images. One of the things I love about older newborns is that you do get some lovely awake eyes! Here are a few of my favorites:
Oh my goodness, WHAT a fun session this was. This family wanted to stay in town, so we headed over to Rock Meadow in Belmont and we had such a gorgeous evening. These kids were also SO much fun to work with — we played so many games to keep it fun and I think it shows in the smiles we got! So hard to narrow down to just a few favorites on this one!
When you’re about to become a parent for the first time, you hear all the time from people about how you’ll never get to sleep in again (it’s not true, but can definitely feel like it sometimes!). So it can be especially hard to get motivated to get up at the crack of dawn for maternity portraits. With A & I the other day though, it was especially worth it for astoundingly good early morning light, and we were even rewarded with some gorgeous fog, and A came prepared with a beautiful hand-made mug for her tea! It was so nice to get to see these two in the last few days before they became a family of three. Here are some of my favorites from their session:
What a gorgeous evening this was (though as the session was wrapping up we could hear the distant rumble of thunder). Wonderful to meet the lovely K and get her some great portraits for her upcoming reunion booklet, and it’s always a treat to shoot in the Arlington Town Garden.
I always love getting to work again with families I’ve worked with in the past. Two years ago, I had the pleasure of taking family portraits for this family, and then I got to work with older brother Parker for his senior portraits (you may remember he brought his volunteer fire fighter gear to his session!). Now it’s Tracy’s turn to be a senior and I had such a great time getting to catch up on what’s new and see how she had grown up in the past two years! We explored a new-to-me bit of conservation land in Lexington (so many little parcels of land that have so many amazing backdrop options!) and Tracy brought some friends along to join in the fun — her cat, Claws and her dog Cookie. I absolutely love when seniors bring something that really helps make the session their own. Here are some of my favorites:
How nice to get to spend time with this super sweet brother and sister duo the other night! I loved hearing about their big plans for after graduation and getting to know then a little bit as we went through the session. Here are a few of my favorite shots:
This month I am talking all about newborn shoots. Newborn shoots are very special to me and I am thankful for every little one I get to photograph. My passion for doing these types of photo shoots led me to do a blog post dedicated to newborn photography.
I frequently get a lot of questions about what happens before, during and after the newborn shoots. Expecting parents are curious about the photo shoot… however, the thought of allowing someone into their home at such a fragile time stirs a lot of emotions (and questions). While the idea may seem overwhelming, I can assure you, I’m dedicated to making the newborn shoots a beautiful and peaceful experience.
To help you better understand the shoots, I did a Q & A below. Take a read –
Where is the best location for newborn shoots? Why?
- All of my newborn sessions take place in the family’s home. I find that new babies and new parents are generally most comfortable in their own space in those first few days after baby is born. If there are older siblings in the family, I find it especially helpful for them to be on their own “home turf” so they can be as comfortable as possible — the arrival of a new sibling is a huge transition for them, too!
- I also find that there is huge value in photographing a baby where they first came home to — even if you move next month, this first home often holds a very special place in the emotional life of the family.
- Often parents are concerned about the level of mess in their home after a new baby arrives — generally, as long as we’ve got some good window light and can clear a small space (a corner of a room or a bed, for instance) that’s all we need! I have three children myself, and have been in countless homes with babies and children and totally understand about how tidying can fall off the to-do list with a baby in the house!
How long are the newborn photo shoots?
- Newborn sessions take up to two hours. I like to leave plenty of time for feeding and changing (newborn babies’ favorite activities!) and time so that we can really be relaxed (which, in turn, helps baby relax).
I saw a particular pose (or set design) that I would like you do with my newborn, is that possible?
- I am always happy to try to incorporate clients’ ideas into any session, and newborn portrait sessions are no exception! My style does tend more toward “lifestyle” newborn portraiture rather than highly posed “studio” shots. I find that often babies are happier and more comfortable this way, and we create images that more closely will mirror what you as a parent see in your baby on a day-to-day basis, as a reminder of what life was like when they were so tiny.
May I bring any props that are sentimental?
- Yes, of course! I am always happy to try to work in sentimental items that are important to you. As a knitter, I have a particular soft-spot for handmade baby items (knit, crocheted, quilted — I love them all!) and as a historian, I love being able to incorporate things that may have been in your family that are significant (maybe your own baby blanket or the hat you came home from the hospital wearing, for instance).
May I take pictures during the newborn photo shoot with my phone?
- If you’d like to stand back and take some “behind the scenes” shots with your camera you’re very welcome to do that. I generally ask that you not get too close so I have space to work to get the best images I can for you. If there are older siblings at a newborn session, I may ask you to put the phone away so I can get the best eye contact possible with them for your official portraits (sometimes if a phone camera is out, a child might not be sure where they’re supposed to look).
What does your average client investment look like?
- Newborn sessions are $600, and that includes a gallery you can download all the final full-resolution images from. If you would like to purchase professional, heirloom-quality prints, canvas, metals, or albums, those are also available separately. Prints start at $25 for 8×10 and smaller, canvas at $100, metals at $60, and albums at $500.
I hope you found these newborn photography Q & A helpful. Please also visit out FAQ page for more detials on our newborn shoots.
Thanks for reading,
Oh my goodness, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more smiley newborn. Little Lydia was so sweet, and I really enjoyed getting to spend some time with her (and her parents!) last week. Lydia’s mom Dana is an amazing quilter, and it was a great treat to get to incorporate one of her quilts into the session, along with another hand-made blanket, made especially for this little girl by another relative. Right as we were getting ready to wrap up the session, Dana asked if we could use one more sentimental blanket — a replica of the blanket Dana’s dad had when he was in the army in Vietnam. This blanket has taken on a prominent place in Dana’s family, used by everyone for cuddling in front of the TV among other things. I absolutely love when families have something like this that helps make their session really their own! I am super excited to get to watch Lydia grow up over the course of the next year with a First Year portrait package!
What a treat to spend the morning with these two little girls and their parents! Baby P slept like a dream, and big sister A was a huge help (she helped pick all the wraps for her baby sister). One of my favorite parts of the session was when big sister asked if I could also photograph her other babies — she had a little baby doll and a rabbit who were both *very* interested in what I was doing (she had set them up in the window sill so they could see). It was very clear to me that she is going to make an excellent big sister to P — she’s clearly already been practicing quite a bit! The best moment of the session, however, definitely has to be when Baby P gave me a *huge* smile when I finished wrapping her in the rainbow wrap A had just picked out (A was wearing a rainbow necklace — I got the impression rainbows are pretty important to her at the moment!).
Today I’m sharing a glimpse into my First Year Baby Photography Package with baby Calvin. As I photographer I love getting the chance to build a strong relationship with families and babies, and this package allows just that. So when Mom, Leah, signed up for the First Year Photography Plan I was excited to get the chance to watch Calvin grow… and grow he did! From his first newborn session (look at those tiny fingers) to eating squash at 6-months to walking at his one year shoot, it has been an absolute joy to capture his first year!
Being able to capture not one but many big milestones through photographs in the first year is priceless. Calvin’s mom Leah shares her experience and why she is a huge fan of the One Year Baby Photography Package…
Q & A with Calvin’s Mom Leah
1. Why did you feel it was important to capture Calvin’s first year of life through professional photos? I had heard from other moms that the first year goes by so quickly and that you get to used to what your child looks like at their current age that it’s hard to remember them being small. We thought it would be a great memory to look back on to see how he grew and changed in that first year when they are growing and changing so much. I also feel like the first year feels like a long time and you don’t notice the incremental changes along the way until all of a sudden your baby looks like a little kid, and I wanted to be able to remember how he looked over the first year. We take photos on our own, too, but having a series of intervals set for us was helpful in making sure we had really nice quality photos of Calvin that captured his progress.
2. What do you love most about the photos? I love how Mira captured Calvin’s personality at each age. I can get a sense of what he was like as a person, not just what he looked like, from the photos. I also just love having family portraits at each stage – it’s neat to see how we all changed together as a family. She did a good job of situating us so that there was a nice background to the images as well.
3. What have you done/or plan to do with all the photos so far? So far I’ve just stared at them on my computer, haha. But I’m planning to either make a printed album, or to hang up a series of one image from each photo shoot framed up together. Likely both, when I get around to it.
4. What did you like most about working with Mira? I really liked how Mira was able to find poses for Calvin that didn’t look posed, that seemed to capture him in action. He’s a very active baby, always on the move, but she was able to capture nice moments of him both in action as he moved around and the rare moments when he sat still to look at a book. Mira was also very professional and gave us good direction during the family portraits of how to hold our heads and how to sit so that the images were nicely composed.
5. Would you recommend the year package to any expecting or new moms? I would definitely recommend the first year package to new moms! Even though it can feel like it moves at a snail’s pace when you’re in the thick of it, it goes by so quickly and you forget so fast what they were like when they were tiny. It’s really meaningful to me to be able to look back at really beautiful pictures of Calvin and to see what he was like as a little guy. I know I’ll cherish these photos for years to come.
Preview all the photos below –
Such a cutie, right?! If you’re thinking about a One Year Photo Package please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions. You can also click here to learn more about the One Year Photography Packages. Our goal is to capture the baby around 4 months, 8 months, and 12 months.. I find this is when major milestones often to occur, but the timing is flexible and can be tailored to your family’s needs. Booking the photography package results in a $500 savings. Learn more about my pricing here.
Thanks for reading & viewing!
Mira with Mira Whiting Photography
The weather for this session was a little iffy, but we managed to sneak in some outdoor shots before the rain really started up, and clouds made for lovely light. Indoors, I was treated to a mini-concert while I got headshots of this young pianist recently graduated from the prestigious Eastman School of Music. When thinking about possible locations, this young man knew he wanted shots with his instrument, and we both knew we needed some good natural light. His old high school was kind enough to allow us to shoot on their grounds and in their beautiful historic chapel, which suited very nicely! Here’s a little peek at our session:
How often do you meet someone who is so excited about creating community and helping people help each other that they make a whole new system to facilitate that? It was my great pleasure to spend some time with Anjali the other evening, and she is doing all that and more with her new site, HelperVille, her project which is helping people find their “village.” Here’s a little taste of our session:
After starting the morning in Arlington, I finished up the day in Lexington at Minuteman National Park, another favorite spot! This family has a little girl who is a riot — I absolutely adored her. She had strong opinions about what she wanted to do and let them be well known — I like that in a kid! She also had the most radiant smile I’ve seen on a small child in a long time. She was really such a joy to work with (and her parents were pretty awesome, too!). Little L. had such a vivid imagination and at one point in the session she decided I had done enough work taking pictures and she was going to cook me dinner. On my prop box. Out of rocks and sand. I love it when kids really engage and was very happy to run with it 🙂 Here are some of my favorites, including some of the “delicious” meal 😉
What do you do when you have a busy workweek and busy weekends but want to squeeze in family portraits? Weekday mornings in the summer are a great fit — the best light is early enough that these parents weren’t even late to the office 🙂 We met up at Menotomy Rocks Park, one of my favorite spots, which has lots of lovely options for backdrops and is generally nice and quiet. Early in the morning at Menotomy Rocks, though, there are often a fair number of people walking dogs. Luckily, this family’s little one is a HUGE fan of our canine friends, and got super excited (seriously, best smiles of the whole session!) when a pup wandered by. As always with little ones, we ended up at the playground at the end for a little playtime. Here’s a little taste of our morning:
A few weeks ago, I had a portrait session with a family who were initially skeptical about the 6am start time I suggested, but went with it and we were rewarded with gorgeous light. I totally understand, though, that golden hour timing (within two hours of sunrise or sunset) just isn’t possible some times. For this family in Winthrop, a mid-morning session was what worked for their schedule and we made it work, finding some shade, and then venturing out to the bright sun. And if that sun wasn’t bright enough for you, Baby L’s smile will surely brighten your day!
Whenever possible, when I’m shooting headshot or business portrait sessions, I try to tailor the session to the profession of the person I’m photographing. For someone in the financial sector, I bring out the portable studio backdrop for a more traditional look, but for an au pair coordinator, what to do? N wanted to be outdoors, and I suggested we head to a park in town that has some lovely natural backdrops as well as — wait for it — a playground. For someone who works in the childcare business, why not involve child’s play? Our session was in the evening, so we didn’t have to worry about getting in the way of kids who wanted to use the equipment as intended, and it was such a fun way to personalize the shoot!
When you can find a bit of oasis in the bustle of the city, that’s something to treasure. This client had a spot in mind she’d biked through on her commute, and it was lovely! Once we were there you would never have known there was a ton of construction going on mere feet away. Here’s a little taste of this session’s business portraits and headshots:
I love being able to give back to my community. In April, my oldest son’s school PTO asked if I could donate a mini-session to the silent auction they were holding, and I was happy to be able to help. Just the other day, we shot the session, and it was such a treat to get to meet another family from our community and help them create some lasting memories for their family. One thing that really struck me mom C said at the beginning of the session, when her husband was encouraging their son to take his baseball cap off — “No, leave it. This is him at 9.” And I love that — that’s really what this is all about, right? Really getting a lasting sense of what these fleeting moments looked like. A bit of a way to freeze time and be able to look back and remember what it was like to live it. And right now, this kid is all about the baseball cap, and that’s fine! (it was definitely helpful that it was on backwards so it wasn’t shading his face, but I do love that mom was ok with it staying on! We spent some time on a small parcel of conservation land in Lexington, and it was a beautiful morning with fog followed by the lovely sun. This family was a little skeptical about the early start time (6am this time of year!) but that early morning light was well-worth the trouble of getting going early, and then they had time to go out for breakfast as a treat after!
Are you ready for the baby, everyone asks as you near your due date. How the heck would you even know? I know I certainly didn’t — with any of my three kids (some things you’re more ready for after the first time, but then there are always new things that come up!) That being said, I know there were a lot of community resources that were a huge help to me when I realized just how not ready I was, and helped me meet the challenges in front of me, whether that was night wakings, navigating the city with a child and without a car, breastfeeding help, and more. At the newborn portrait sessions I shoot, I often end up talking to the new parents about how they’re doing, and finding that they might find one of these resources helpful, so I thought it might be helpful to compile a list for those clients and others to have at their fingertips. Do you have something to add? Let me know! I’m always happy to grow this list!
- JF&CS New Moms’ Groups
- Diaper Lab New Moms’ Group & classes
- MAMAH Postpartum Group (see info on left of the page)
Tricks & Skills for Making Life Easier
- Babywearing International of Greater Boston
- Breastfeeding Help: The following groops are open to all mothers regardless of where they delivered
Second Hand Stores
- The Little Fox, Arlington, MA
- Liena’s, Winchester, MA
- Growing Up, Belmont, MA
- Apple of My Eye, Melrose, MA
- Savers, Wilmington, MA
Prenatal & Mom/baby Focused Fitness
- Lexington Power Yoga, Lexington, MA
- Fit4Mom, Wakefield, MA
- First class is free!
- The Energy Barre – Stoneham, Beverly, Medford and North Reading
- They also have childcare at select locations
Library Story Times/Events
- Robbins Library | Fox Branch, Arlington, MA
- Belmont Public Library, Belmont, MA
- Winchester Public Library, Winchester, MA
- Woburn Public Libary, Woburn, MA
- Lexington Cary Library, Lexington, MA
- Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, MA
I hope you find these helpful! We welcome any additions you may have.
– Thanks for reading! Mira with MiraWhitingPhotography.com
This little guy was recently welcomed into the world by two wonderful parents and seriously amazing big sister and brother. It was a privilege to get to shoot Baby N’s fresh 48 session two weeks ago, and then to get to see how much he’s really come into his own even at 15 days old. I also loved getting to watch his big brother and sister interact with him — these two are going to dote on him, for sure.
When parents inquire about newborn sessions, I often get asked how I handle the clutter that often accompanies a new baby in the house (I have three kids of my own and TOTALLY get it!) or lack of light. These were all taken in the baby’s nursery and the family’s living room. The nursery just had two small windows, but it was enough! Generally if there’s any window light to speak of, we can make it work 🙂 Here’s a little taste of this newborn portrait session:
I am often really lucky with the weather (hope writing that doesn’t jinx it!). This session was a true nail-biter with thunderstorms scheduled to come in right around the time we had scheduled for. This client needed one image rushed for publication for a newspaper article, and the deadline for that was the following morning (UK time! So we couldn’t even do a sunrise session the next morning). When I was driving over, I breathed a sigh of relief because the crazy-ominous clouds that had gathered appeared to be dissapating. Imagine my surprise, then, when as I turned into the parking lot the heavens opened and torrential downpours persisted for the next 45 minutes. Luckily, I was early to the session, so only some of that was session time. When the rain cleared we got amazing evening light which flattered this gorgeous woman perfectly. We were incredibly lucky in our timing because when I got home from the session and was editing her one rush image, the heavens opened again and there were even bigger thunderstorms for quite a while! Here are a few of my favorites:
It’s with shoots like this that I just feel so incredibly lucky to have the job that I do — how amazing is it to get to help families record some of their most important moments? Baby N made his appearance the day before this portrait session, eager to meet his mom and dad, and brother and sister, and scores of adoring relatives and friends. When I got there, mom had just finished pumping and dad was helping transfer those precious drops of liquid gold. At a Fresh 48 session, the baby is truly in charge — with a little human so brand new, it’s a lifestyle session capturing those early moments and expressions and just the wonder of this new life — flaky skin, redness, and tired parents and all. Part of what I love about these is the sheer reality and rawness of them: this is life, at its best, but also in some ways at its hardest, and goes to the heart of what makes us human: how we care for other people.
This little guy was such a treat to work with. His canine “brother” Tucker was also eager to be involved in this portrait session. Here’s a taste of how we spent our morning:
What an incredibly gorgeous morning with this stunningly beautiful mama who is due any day now with baby #3. We went to the Arlington Reservoir, because mom was on strict instructions to not walk very far and we had lots of good options for backgrounds right near the parking lot. This mom hadn’t been sure she was going to make it to the maternity session because her little boy was so eager to make his appearance, but she did after dropping her oldest at kindergarten. Her middle child came with her, and he was so sweet and excited to be a big brother — when I asked “Who’s going to be a big brother?” he got the best smile on his face and raised his hand as high as he could. Here are a few of my favorites from our time together, and I can’t wait to meet this little guy soon!
Before I was a photographer, I worked an office job at MIT. It was such an amazing place to work, even as someone who wasn’t directly involved in teaching or research. So when the academic coordinator of the MIT Energy Initiative got in touch to see if I could take headshots of this summer’s crop of undergraduate researchers I jumped at the chance to be back on campus with all that amazing energy. This was such a neat group of students, from all sorts of disciplines and from all over the world (from Canada to Saudi Arabia, to far-flung corners of the US). We shot in the beautiful Lobby 10 space, which was a relief for all given how hot and humid it was outside. When everyone’s headshots were done I got to follow one of the students back to his lab to take some pictures of him at work — so cool to see cutting-edge research in action! Here are my favorites from the time I spent with these students:
I had so much fun photographing these kids at their Spring Fling. They came from high schools all over Boston, and when it’s so clear that the kids are having so much fun, how can you not have fun, too? It was wonderful to see the kids all enjoying dancing with each other and with their teachers. Here’s a little peek at how the morning went:
One of the big pleasures of this job (of which there are many) is that I get to watch babies grow into children, and families grow. When I first met M & R, R was pregnant. We decided to shoot their maternity session at Great Brook Dairy Farm — a spot not too far from their home where they liked to go watch the animals and eat ice cream, and they hoped it would become a favorite of their child’s as well. When baby O was born, I photographed him in their home, and at his 6 month session we chose to go to their local library since it was too cold to be outdoors, and O loved the library. For O’s first birthday session, M & R asked if we could go back to Great Brook Dairy Farm where it all began. I loved the symbolism, and it turned out it would be O’s first trip there. We had a lovely time going back to the spots we’d shot at last spring, and O was delighted to discover the rocks on one of the paths and made it known he had strong opinions on where those rocks should be placed (he amassed quite the collection on my wooden box prop). It’s been such a joy to get to watch O grow from a tiny squish to a smiley, happy almost-toddling boy. Here are a few of my favorites from the morning:
It was such a privilege to be asked to photograph such a special day for this family. Baby L was baptized at St. Joseph Parish in Medford on Sunday afternoon. Her grandfather is a deacon, and he performed the ceremony, which added an extra personal touch. It was wonderful to see such a happy family gathered, with godparents coming from as far away as California for the occasion. Here are a few highlights from the event and family portraits beforehand:
On a personal note, today started in a very difficult way with a funeral for a long-time friend of mine. As many people commented on during the service, she was nothing if not silly. It seemed fitting, therefore, to head to a 9 month milestone session afterwards — 9 month olds are, for sure some of the silliest of babies. Baby C, who I’ve been photographing since he was a tiny newborn, was all about tables today — climbing under them, peeking through them and over all experimenting with gravity. He’s also *well* into the cruising stage, which was a lot of fun to document! After spending some times playing inside, we went out to enjoy the beautiful garden C’s mother works so hard on. C had a good time feeling the tickle of the grass and tasting the clover.
Newborn portrait sessions for first children are a whole different ballgame from newborn sessions with older siblings involved. I love both, but one of my favorite parts of newborn sessions with siblings is getting to engage the older kids. Big brother J was hoot — he gave me a great concert on his guitar which I loved, and he was incredibly sweet with his baby brother (something that is not at all guaranteed!) Here is a little taste of their session:
What a gorgeous evening we had, and what a treat to get to head up to the rooftop with this family! These two little guys had fun running around and showing me all the fun they can have on the roof deck of their apartment building. After a little while, the kids needed a change of scenery and we went down to street level where there were lovely streetscapes and lots of wonderful open shade. Here are a few of my favorites:
When a client contacts me looking to do a portrait session outdoors, I always explain that the most flattering light is generally found within two hours of sunrise or sunset. Some times of year, this lends itself nice to reasonably-timed sessions. June gets a little tough with such long days, but I find with babies, it can be a huge advantage since often babies get up super early anyway. Baby J was ready to go for his 6am portrait session the other day, and we had a lovely time exploring the nearby Middlesex Fells. His family has just moved to a lovely house a short walk from one of the trails, and his parents hope it will become a family favorite activity to hike there in the years to come. Here’s a little taste from his portrait session:
What a delight to meet Baby T and his parents the other day. T was bright eyed and curious about the world around him. There’s something about babies — it’s hard to resist making things for them. As a knitter myself, I absolutely love seeing the wonderful items made with so much love for them: hats, blankets, quilts, sweaters, special toys and more. It’s so nice to be able to incorporate something so personal and made with so much love. At this session, I was delighted to see an amazing alphabet quilt made by Baby T’s grandmother. What a privilege to get to document him with it at the very beginning. Here are some of my favorites from this session:
It’s always a pleasure to work with MommyBites for one of their events. For their Mothers’ Day party this year, it was a real treat to get to take portraits of moms and their babies. Even in a really busy room, it was obvious how much these little ones adore their mothers, and it was really a privilege to get to capture that. One of my very favorite moments was when two moms came up and asked if I could take their picture together, without their children. They are neighbors, and an important part of each other’s support system — how could I possibly say no to that? Here are a few of my favorites from the day, along with some shots of the sample class Little Beats gave for all the attendees.
One of my favorite parts about this job is getting to see new places. Wayland, MA is not a town I’d spent much time in, but it was just gorgeous driving in through back roads enjoying the scenery. This was a special session I was heading to — extended family in from near and far to celebrate a baptism. It was obvious from the minute I walked in the door that this was a family that enjoyed spending each other’s company, and was excited to celebrate two of its youngest members. We had such a fun time playing in their yard, and even their dogs came out to join the fun. When the kids needed a change of scenery, we headed inside for some more groupings and some more relaxed play. Here’s a little peek at their session:
What a gorgeous day to be out in the sunshine. I had such a nice time with Melanie as we explored the Town Gardens and the beautiful garden at her law office. The flowers were out in full-force and even in the middle of the day we were able to find some lovely open shade.
What a treat to get to work all afternoon Saturday at Ready, Set, KIDS in Arlington Center, providing portraits to families as a fundraiser for Arlington Family Connection! From families with small babies and toddlers, to older elementary kids, to a professional needing new headshots, it was a busy day! Here’s a little taste. Galleries are heading out this morning!
What a treat to get to spend an evening with this lovely young lady. I love tween sessions — just grown up enough to not be a little kid anymore, but not quite an adult — it’s such a great, fun age! And spring is such a fun time to be outdoors with the flowers and the warmer weather and just the feeling of freedom after a long winter. When I do portrait sessions with teens and tweens I love hearing all about what they’re up to in school, what they do for fun with their friends, and what they’re really proud of. This girl had recently bought herself some new shoes she loves (pictured below!), with her own money, and the pride she had in that was palpable.
It was my great pleasure to get to work with GBIO to photograph an event that is part of their latest endeavor “Out of Many, One” — a teach-in and solidarity event with the greater Boston Muslim community. The event took place at First Church, Cambridge in Harvard Square and was very well-attended. There were two panels of speakers who educated the attendees about how recent events have affected the Muslim community here in our city. The speakers spoke movingly and passionately. After the speakers, there was a time for attendees to talk in small groups with facilitators about what they heard and their reactions. As I left the event I heard one attendee turn to another an comment that she hadn’t realized just how much recent events and policies were having a local effect, so she was glad she went to the event.
Last week it was my great pleasure to get to work with seven amazing businesswomen in conjunction with Pepperlane, a new website based out of Lexington, MA. Pepperlane is “a community of mothers building businesses on our own terms.” and it seems to be taking off like wildfire — it seems every other week I’m hearing about them from someone new in a different part of my life. I joined a few months ago, and was thrilled when they asked if I’d be interested in working with them to get fantastic business portraits of some of their members to enhance their profiles on the site. Over the course of two half days, Pepperlane’s director of community outreach and I travelled around to business owners’ homes and places of business to capture them and get some images to really convey what they do. It was a treat to get to meet such a wide range of people in such a short time! They ranged from professional organizers to a writer, to an accountant, natural healer, personal stylist, and decorator and I loved hearing all about what they all do and what drives them.
Here are some of my favorites to give you a taste of what we got up to:
After a busy week filled with business portraits (more on them in a separate post!) a newborn twin portrait session was a lovely change of pace. These two boys, A&M were 14 days old, and could not possibly have been sweeter. Their grandmother is visiting to help out, and I took an opportunity to bring her in for a quick portrait as well — she was holding baby A in a blanket she had made for him (one for baby M is in progress). I love getting to include grandparents, and as a knitter myself, I can’t resist a beautiful handknit 🙂 Here are some of my favorite images from the session:
This fundraiser was so much fun to photograph! Great music, and a huge amount of energy in the room! Here are some of my favorites:
What a treat to get to photograph this fantastic event again this year. Here are a few of my favorites from the evening, and thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hi!
What a treat to get to celebrate H. again this year — such a big girl now at six! This year was a penguin theme, and apparently someone sent a message to the weather about it, because it was a chilly 17 degrees when I arrived. The kids had a great time playing inside with cardboard “igloo” blocks, pin-the-nose-on-the-penguin, “feed the penguin” bean bag toss, and more.
You spoke, and I listened. Big changes are coming to Mira Whiting Photography this spring. I’m so excited to be announcing that going forward I will be working with a different pricing structure which I hope will serve you and your needs better. I will be switching to an all-inclusive model, where your session fee will include 20 fully-edited high-resolution images delivered digitally. You will have an online gallery, making it easier to share with far-flung friends and family.
Those are some pretty big changes, but what ISN’T changing? I will still:
- Be available to you for pre-session consultations so we can discuss exactly what you’re looking for, as well as wardrobe and location options.
- Be available to advise you on how to best print your images so you’ll be able to enjoy them for generations.
- Provide professional printing options, which use archival materials and will best-present the work I do.
- Always provide personalized service that fits YOUR family’s particular needs.
What a treat to photograph Jess and her two older children as she gets ready to welcome babies #3 and #4 into their family this spring. Here’s a little peek, and I can’t wait to show more soon:
What a treat to get to spend another morning with baby Calvin! I can’t believe he’s already six months old. We had fun playing inside and out, and he showed me what a champ he is at eating carrots. Can’t wait to show more soon, but for now, here’s a little peek:
What an amazing band! Nefesh Mountain performed last night at Temple Isaiah in Lexington, and it was my great pleasure to photograph the event. Here are a few of my favorites:
Our timing this morning was perfect — snow on the ground and in the air, but before the wind really started picking up, and I was lucky to have the wonderful L. in front of my camera this morning.
We all know the feeling — your kid is doing something ridiculous or adorable (or both!) and you pull out your phone to snap a quick picture of it only to get an error message — no more space! Or you carefully put everything on your computer, but then your hard-drive fails. Or you need to use some pictures for a project and can’t find that picture you know would be just PERFECT because you don’t have a good filing system. And while the problem of thousands and thousands of images to sift through is exacerbated by the ease of taking so many images with digital photography, most of the tips below would apply just as well to the shoebox of photos you’ve been meaning to sort through since your days taking pictures with film.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of teaching a photo organization class at Diaper Lab in Davis Square. There were a bunch of people who were interested in the class, but weren’t able to make that particular time. I’m hoping to do the class again in the future, but in the mean time, here are some tips to get you started on your organization journey.
Culling ~ A Vital First Step
Culling — a nice way of saying that you’re deleting the images you don’t need, is absolutely vital before you get started with any other aspect of organizing your photos. It’s hard, but it’s really important to let go of the idea that every image is precious. If too many images are cluttering up your digital space, you won’t be able to easily retrieve the ones that truly make your heart sing. What should you get rid of?
- Duplicates — with rapid-fire shutters, you can take a dozen images in a matter of seconds. Pick the best of the series and chuck the rest (or if it’s a truly entertaining series, with your child making different expressions, for instance, pick at most three).
- Blurry/out of focus images — keep only the images that you will want to look at and best show what you’re trying to remember. If it’s too blurry, you won’t even remember what it’s a picture of in a few years!
- “Postcard pictures” — When I go on vacation, before I take a picture of the scene before me, I ask “is there something unique about this? Could I buy a postcard of this exact same thing? If the answer to that second question is yes, it’s not worth taking your own — just buy the postcard! Focus your pictures on the things that you will want to remember about the trip — your loved ones in the location, doing things together, the people you meet (Ok, this is totally my bias a portrait photographer showing, but I still think it’s a valid point!).
- Think — will I want to see this in 25 years? If the answer is no, don’t hesitate to delete!
You can make exceptions — one of my all-time favorite pictures of my middle son is a bit out of focus and I kept it anyway since it was such a perfect capture of him at that age — but make them rare so you can really focus on organizing the images you really want to keep.
Filing — Where do you put it all?
Once you’ve culled, the question then becomes how to keep track of what you’ve kept. Most people use a theme-based (“Our family vacation” “Jacob’s birthday party”) or chronological-based (“2017 pictures”) or some combination thereof (“2017: January: Family Vacation”). Figure out how your brain likes to retrieve information and go for it! The important thing is to be consistent.
Start with your images going forward, and then spend 10-20 minutes a day or so working on filing your older images according to your new system — you don’t have to do it all in one go.
Printing — Why? What? How?
- Why Print? Why not just keep everything as a digital file? Digital files are fundamentally not archival — it’s incredibly easy to have files become corrupted, or for media to become obsolete.
- I like to tell the story at this point of my own wedding photos — we got them on CD. I recently purchased a new computer, and realized that none of the laptops I was looking at had an optical drive. I was incredibly glad I’d made a printed album of our favorite wedding images so I can enjoy them for decades, and my grandchildren will be able to as well even without the ability to read that CD.
- Hard drive failures are also fairly common. If you’re very lucky your files may be recoverable, but as one of the families who attended the class found out recently, it can cost thousands of dollars to go through that process (and it’s often not possible at all). The mom who was telling me this story was horrified that she could have lost all the pictures of her children’s early years to that hard drive failure. You can back up, but nothing is as archival as acid-free paper.
- Aside from the loss of your images entirely, there is also the issue of visibility. You should be able to enjoy looking at your photos! Just tucked away on your computer they aren’t visible the way they are on a wall or in an album. If you have children, there have also been some studies about visible family photos helping to boost children’s self-esteem, and I know I’ve seen that in my own family: my kids will often request a photo album as a nap or bedtime story — they love seeing themselves in the pictures and hearing our family’s story and their part in it.
- What to print? The two most common things to print are pictures for your wall or albums — which you pick will depend on which you prefer and how much space you have — there isn’t a right or wrong answer here!
- How to print? It’s so overwhelming!
- For the wall: Every month or two, go through your images (after you’ve culled!) to pick a few favorites. Put those favorites in a folder, and go through them deciding what to print and what sizes at the end of the year — you’ll only have a couple of dozen images to choose from rather than hundreds, so it’ll be a much quicker process.
- Albums: Similar in theory to the wall prints strategy — every month or two take 20-30 minutes and do that month’s pages in an album for the year (many online album makers allow you to save your work over time). When you get to the end of the year, you’ll just have December pictures to put in, and then you’ll have your album for the year done.
- For both of these the real trick is to do it a little bit at a time throughout the year so it feels less overwhelming. Several of the attendees at the class last most mentioned that they felt overwhelmed going back and printing out their old pictures — start this way going forward and take 20 minutes a few times a week to start working backwards to the older pictures — you’ll get it done eventually if you chunk it into manageable pieces!
I hope this is helpful! Please stay tuned for more tips, and news on when the class might run again!
One of my favorite parts of this job is getting to see kids grow up. Two years ago, I had the pleasure of photographing T. as a newborn, and it was such a treat to get to spend some time with her yesterday and see how she’s grown into a such a sweet two year old! I especially loved getting to see her as a big sister to baby I. — giving kisses, sharing a book. Here’s a little peek at their session:
It was my great pleasure to get to photograph baby C and her parents today. She was so alert most of the time, and I just loved watching her take everything in. She was a good sport about being moved all around, though she definitely let her opinions be known! She is such a sweet little baby, and I can’t wait to show her parents the rest of this set soon, but here’s a little peek to get started with:
What grandparent doesn’t love pictures of their grandchildren, right? Even more of a treat, especially for grandparents of far-flung grandchildren is a portrait of all of their grandchildren together. Almost exactly six years ago, my own family did an extended family portrait session when we were all together for the first time since my sister-in-law’s wedding (and some of us hadn’t even been part of the family then, never mind all the kids!). The images from that session are treasured by the entire family (my husband is one of five kids, so there are a lot of us). Especially precious, given how far away we all are and how infrequently we manage to all get together is the shot of all of the grandchildren (up to that point — there have been quite a few additions since!). It’s such a joy for me to help other families create treasure memories like that for their own families.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of helping a family create just such a gift, not for a grandmother, but a great-grandmother. Ranging in age from two months to eight years, this was quite the crew of cousins! Here’s a little peek, and I can’t wait to show more after their viewing session in January!
New England weather sure is a roller coaster — single digits on Friday, 6″ of snow and slush on Saturday, almost 60 on Sunday and back to 20 on Monday! With all that, we opted for an indoor headshot session this morning. For a nice headshot, it’s hard to beat a wood-panelled room with enormous windows and a cloudy sky for nice diffuse light! Here’s a little peek — can’t wait to show the rest soon!