Category: Families

Summer Birthday Portraits | Lexington, MA

Summer Birthday Portraits | Lexington, MA

Summer Birthday Portraits | Lexington, MA

I have been photographing this little one since the maternity session when her mom was pregnant, then her newborn session, birthday portraits for her first birthday, and now she’s two!  It has been such a joy to get to watch as she’s grown from an adorable little newborn to an active toddler with a serious mind of her own.    We met up at a field in Lexington, MA that’s a favorite of mine — it can be a little tricky for kids this age, though, this time of year, because there is basically no shade at all, so the best time to do portraits here is really right up against sunset, and this time of year, that’s pretty late for little ones.  Luckily, this little one is a bit of a night owl, so we were able to make it work.  Little C loved getting to wander all over in this giant meadow — with kids this age, I always bring ideas for fun games and prompts that will not only make the experience more comfortable and fun for them, but also bring out those natural expressions parents treasure.  C was game to play along for a little bit, but then she started making her own suggestions — which I loved!!  In fact, some of my favorite images from the session are from her ideas — I told her in a few years, she can totally intern with me and help me out 😉  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

Summer Birthday Portraits | Lexington, MA

South Boston Family Portraits | Boston, MA

South Boston Family Portraits | Boston, MA

It was SUCH a pleasure to see this family again this past weekend.  Third year in a row for family portraits with them, and I love getting to watch their girls grow up!  Each year, we’ve done something different — a local park, a local historic house, and this year, mom requested a location with water.  So, I suggested one of my very favorite places on the planet — I go weekly with my own kids — Castle Island in South Boston.  With a beach, a pier, a historic fort, and a playground, what could be better for capturing portraits of the kids at the peak of summer?

This year, as a treat, their mom (who always goes all out, planning the girls’ outfits and accessories), got them gummy fruit on a stick.  The original idea was to give them to the girls as a treat after we were all done, but they were just too tempting, so they kept coming out in the portraits, and honestly, I think they went perfectly with the summery vibe 🙂

It was a hot morning, even though we tried to get an early start to beat the worst of the heat (and as always, for the light — there isn’t much shade at this location, so we tried to catch the tail-end of golden hour after sunrise).  Here are a few of my favorites from this year, and I’m already looking forward to planning next year’s portrait session!

South Boston Family Portraits | Boston, MA

At-Home Portraits | Newton, MA

At Home Portraits | Newton, MA

At Home Portraits | Newton, MA

I love simple, at-home sessions.  This amazing duo was no exception.  They recently moved, and their new house came with a FANTASTIC swing set, perfect for fun in this bizarre world of isolation.  It was clear that this little guy was pretty enamored of it, so that’s where I focused for my portraits of him (Number one rule — happy kids equal better portraits!).  He was super excited to show off all the cool things he’s learned to do, and his secret treasure (spoiler alert — it was a branch from a nearby tree he’s been keeping at the top of the slide in the treehouse portion of the swing set 🙂 ).   It was also a great way to help him transition to doing portraits with his mom — she came and pushed him on the swing for a little while which not only yielded sweet images of the two of them, but got him excited for more pictures with his mom elsewhere in their yard.  That is one of the beautiful things about portrait sessions at home — kids get to be on their own turf, and I think it really comes out in how extra-comfortable they are during the session.   If your own home or backyard isn’t appealing, I often get that same effect when we go to a favorite playground or park — I can have the kids show me around and let me know what the most fun things are, and it gives them a real sense of confidence.

Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

At Home Portraits | Newton, MA

Tween Family Session | Lexington, MA

Tween Family Session | Lexington, MA

Tween Family Session | Lexington, MA

We had a GORGEOUS evening for this family session in Lexington, MA.  With tweens, it can sometimes be a little hard to get their best side out — no longer little kids who think all my dumb dad jokes are hilarious, but also not yet teens/emerging adults who really “get” what the goals of a lifestyle portrait session are all about.  The good news is that prompts work really well at this age — they think you’re posing them, but then it turns into a game!  And as they loosen up and become more comfortable, you can push a little more (or the parents can) to capture their true KID selves.  Tweens often spend a lot of time playing cool and playing at being older than they are, so it’s really magic when they can relax into their kid selves and that shines through.  In this session, the older daughter, ten years old, went for a ride on her dad’s shoulders.  A lovely thing between the two of them that she might decide next month she’s too old for has now been captured.

Another trick for photographing kids at this age?  I *always* go with their ideas.  Even if they don’t make it into the final gallery, it gives them a sense of ownership over the process — helps them feel involved.  That goes a LONG way towards getting cooperation.  Towards the end of this session, I had a shot I wanted to get of the two sisters.  I needed serious buy-in I wasn’t sure I was going to get from the oldest to make it work.  She had been teasing her dad the whole time about how the giant water bottle he had brought along (the day had been really hot!) was clearly a family member and should be in the family shots.  We didn’t do a family shot with the giant water bottle, but I did do a couple shots of her with the water bottle, which THRILLED her.  So a few minutes later when I suggested a piggyback ride for her little sister?  I was the cool/fun photographer, and she was game to try (at the beginning of the session, she totally rolled her eyes at the idea that she would even sit next to her sister — so these prompts and games, and going with kids’ ideas go a LONG way).

Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

Tween Family Session | Lexington, MA

Mom and Dad Stay in the Picture | Medford, MA

Mom and Dad Stay in the Picture | Medford, MA

Mom and Dad Stay in the Picture | Medford, MA

This year, 2020, the year that many are saying they wish they could forget between the pandemic and unrest and economic woes?  For this family, 2020 has brought a lot of joy — it brought them their youngest daughter (five daughters — and what amazing girls and young women they are growing up to be!).  These two amazing humans are stellar parents, and like many parents, their children are their main focus most of the time.  But the night I met up with them we had a different goal — yes, we were going to get a couple of shots of the whole family, the girls, and especially the newest addition, but this was time to focus on mom and dad — to give them a chance to center each other, even if it was just for 45 minutes.

“We are always SO awkward.  We’re really awkward people.  Especially in front of a camera” I was warned.  Frankly, I didn’t believe it.  Or, rather, I did (since this has clearly been their lived experience!) but I didn’t think it had to be their destiny.  Previously, when they were photographed together, it was of the school of thought of “Stand like this, look at the camera, SMILE!” which, frankly, makes MOST people both look at feel awkward.

Instead, we took more of a lifestyle /prompted /emotive approach to their portraits.  They still wanted at least one shot of both of them smiling and looking at the camera (a totally reasonable goal!  There’s a reason that shot is a classic!), but instead of starting out with that, we started off with some prompts.  They were ridiculous, silly prompts.  And when they had relaxed a little, the “ok, now at me” prompt came as just a minor tweak to what they were already doing and comfortable with.  Around that, we got so many genuine expressions of love, shared laughter, and a true sense of who they are as a couple, which is just as important to document — especially in the middle of a pandemic where it can be a little hard to remember where it all began.

Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

Mom and Dad Stay in the Picture | Medford, MA

Moms Stay in the Picture | Lexington, MA

Moms Stay in the Picture | Lexington, MA

As a parent myself, I know how hard it can be to take the time for portraits with my spouse.  I’m a photographer, and we don’t get in front of the camera NEARLY as often as we should.  Life is super busy, even during a pandemic, and while these folks have tons of photos of their kids, it was time to rectify their lack of portraits of the two of them as a couple.  These two didn’t have a professional photographer at their wedding, and were realizing they didn’t really have any pictures of the two of them.  We wanted to take a pause to celebrate L. and I. and their love for each other.  On a beautiful summer evening, we headed out to Lexington to a stunning meadow and got to work.

I don’t really love stiff couples portraits — we’ll always get at least a few of everyone looking at the camera, but my goal with this type of session is really to capture what these two people mean to each other, aside from the camera in front of their faces (ok, with Covid I’m not getting QUITE as close as I used to — long lenses are my friend for social distancing and keeping everyone safe!).   When we were just about done, we snagged the kids, who had patiently been sitting in the meadow with us, for a few full family shots as well.

Here are a few of my favorites:

 

Moms Stay in the Picture | Lexington, MA

Summer Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Summer Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Summer Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

What a joy to photograph these folks — they wanted updated family portraits and hadn’t had professional photos taken since their oldest was six months old, about two years ago.  Now their newest little one had hit that milestone and it seemed like the right time for a refresh 🙂

Due to Covid-19, I have been careful to schedule portrait sessions that will be at parks at times that are less likely to be crowded — in addition to me keeping my distance and wearing a mask, this is part of how I’m working to protect my clients’ health.  The tricky part is, of course, matching that up with times there will be good light AND times the children involved will be happy (there is no point in scheduling a portrait session at bedtime or naptime with small children — scheduling at a time they will be happy is my main concern, since I want each family’s portrait session to be a good experience, in addition to providing them with lasting memories in the form of photographs).

For this family, the perfect time in many ways seemed to come not quite at the kids’ bedtime, but not far before.  One of the reasons I love standard-length portrait sessions rather than mini-sessions is that for a kid who needs some time to warm up, there is time to do that — time for them to get comfortable with this stranger with a giant camera (lots of little kids assume a cell phone when you mention a camera, so a professional camera can be a bit intimidating!).  Time to play games (this little guy wanted to play “go fast”).  Time to explore.  And once the kids had warmed up, these two little ones had smiles that lit up not just a room but an entire park — and looking at their mom and dad, I could see where they came from 🙂  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

 

Summer Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Backyard Portraits | Lexington, MA

Backyard Portraits | Lexington, MA

Backyard Portraits | Lexington, MA

In this new world of Covid-19, backyard portraits have definitely increased in popularity!   These folks gravitated toward more traditional posing, but we also had a lot of fun!  These folks booked a session in celebration of their oldest daughter’s bat mitzvah in mid-June (a celebration that surely looked incredibly different than what they had originally envisioned due to the pandemic).  The bat mitzvah girl picked her outfit for her special day, and we did some shots like that before she decided to change to match her twin sisters.  While M. was changing,  we took the opportunity to do a “just parents” photo (SO many parents look at me a little surprised when I suggest it — it’s often been quite a long time since they’ve had a chance to have a picture of just them with no kids), and a “just twins” photo — we did one more serious set-up for that, and then since M. was still changing, her sisters had a chance to get a little goofy — always MY favorite images 🙂   And when M. came back, she joined in the silly fun.  As a mom of three myself, I absolutely loved seeing these kiddos plan out some funny things together — exactly the kinds of sibling moments I think I’ll enjoy looking back on as a mom, and I hope my clients feel similarly 🙂

Throughout this entire session, as for all my pandemic portrait sessions, I was able to maintain distance from them, and wear my mask to keep them as protected as possible.  They were able to snuggle in with each other though so we could show all the love in their family <3  Here are a few of my favorites.

Backyard Portraits | Lexington, MA

Socially Distant Portraits

Socially Distant Portraits | The New Normal | Malden, MA

Socially Distant Portraits | The New Normal | Malden, MA

So, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve updated here.  I hope you’ve all been well through the shutdown these past few months.  As Massachusetts starts to re-open, I will be offering “socially distant” outdoor portrait sessions.  We are having such a beautiful spring here in MA, and it is really glorious to get to be out of the house for a little while, while still protecting everyone’s health.

What does it look like to have a “socially distant” portrait session with Mira Whiting Photography?  Well, for one thing, I, your photographer, will be wearing a mask for your protection, and I will use a long lens that allows me to create beautiful portraits while staying further away.  When picking a location for your portraits, I recommend we pick someplace either on your own property, or somewhere secluded enough that you will not need to be masked while being photographed.  Sometimes, this may mean that if you want to go to a particular place, we would schedule quite early or late to avoid the crowds (good news — that’s actually when the best and most flattering light of the day is anyway, so it’ll help your portraits be all the more beautiful).  I am also, unfortunately, not able to take extended family sessions where there would be more than 10 people in attendance (including me) for the time being — hopefully as the spread of COVID-19 slows, we will be able to open up a little bit more in further phases down the line.

The most important part, though?  Even with distancing, we can still capture the love in your family.   Here is one of my first sessions back to work since mid-March — all with long lens and proper distancing to ensure everyone’s safety.

 

Socially Distant Portraits | The New Normal | Malden, MA

Lexington Family Photographer

Lexington Family Photographer First Year Package

Lexington Family Photographer First Year Package

We met up bright and early for “serious baby” (as his mother called him)’s birthday portraits.  I first met Z at his newborn session, and it’s hard to believe how fast time has flown.  I’ve gotten to watch as he’s grown from tiny baby to a baby who has this baby thing pretty well figured out (at his six month session) to a proto-toddler looking ahead to what his second year on Earth will bring.  It was time-change day, and a little extra chilly that morning, but we made the best of it and had some fun — we even managed to coax a smile or two from Serious Baby 🙂

It is such a joy to get to capture a baby’s first year — there is no larger time of growth (physical or mental) in our lifetimes as humans, and there is such a wide range of where we all are at that one year mark, that it feels so special to get to capture who this one baby has become in that special year.

Lexington Family Photographer First Year Package

First Year Portraits | Cambridge, MA

First Year Portraits | Cambridge, MA

First Year Portraits | Cambridge, MA

When it came time for the 8 months milestone session of this little guy’s first year package, (oh my goodness, HOW is he 8 months old already?) life at home was a bit in transition.  These folks have just closed on a new home, and have started renovations, but not moved yet, and their current house (which we’ve used before for this guy and for his big sister’s portraits), is currently in the state of many boxes (as any of us who have ever moved can sympathize with!).  So off we headed to the library.  For a family of book lovers, this was the perfect spot, and it was nice and cozy on a very chilly morning.  With a book theme, and a lots of fun exploring, it was also a great place to be so that big sister could get some special attention as well.  One of my favorite requests they had was to do a family portrait with their new house’s plans drawn by the architect they’re working with.  A perfect moment as they transition to their new home!

Like many 8 month olds, this little guy thought the books were delicious, and was just at peak smiles  — here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

First Year Portraits | Cambridge, MA

Home Family Portraits | Arlington, MA

Home Family Portraits | Arlington, MA

Home Family Portraits | Arlington, MA

In-home family portrait sessions can be so much fun — and definitely also a little chaos is part of the deal as well.

“Awwwww!!!!!! You captured such chaotically sweet moments 🥰. Not to mention, you have some amazing skills working in a narrow, cramped, and shadowed house …. or we could just say “cozy” setting”

This was the response from M, mom of these cuties.  And honestly, her house is pretty normal for around here!   It’s absolutely all about finding the light and finding what makes the kiddos tick.  For these two, special treats were offered for some cooperation, but I also was able to just get them enthusiastically playing games together they love to play, and with just a little directions, that can lead to fantastic portraits.

Are you nervous about how your kids will handle a full portrait session?  I often get asked how to best prepare children to be photographed, so I’ve created a guide — you can find my favorite tips here in my Family Session Prep Guide.   Most of all, you as a parent know your children best, so you will have the best sense of what works for them — no two children are alike, so there’s no reason to think the exact same techniques work for them all.  Here are a few of my favorites from my time with these folks:

 

Home Family Portraits | Arlington, MA

Lifestyle Family Session Indoors | Somerville, MA

Lifestyle Family Session Indoors | Somerville, MA

Lifestyle Family Session Indoors | Somerville, MA

Winter is such a great time for an in-home family portrait session.  I had so much fun with these folks in their Somerville home.  From bed-jumping to board games, to dance parties in the kitchen, it was delightful to get to capture this family as they are right now.

This family has a gorgeous home, but they also have three kids.  As a mom of three myself, I promise I am NEVER EVER judging.  I know there’s no such thing as “totally tidy” with kids around.  But you know what, I also kind of love photographing a home in its semi-natural state.  This is how your children will remember their childhood home, and all the memories that go along with that.  Sure, we make beds and clear distractions as we move around the house for portraits, but I promise you it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Best of all, kids who might be reluctant in front of the camera are on their own turf when you choose to have your portraits done in your home.  It’s a more natural environment for them.

Have you thought about an in-home session for your family?  Drop me a line and I’d love to chat about your vision — what is special about your family that you want to remember from 2020?

 

Lifestyle Family Session Indoors | Somerville, MA

Mom + Me Portraits | Arlington, MA

Mom + Me Portraits | Arlington, MA

Mom + Me Portraits | Arlington, MA

There is a special bond, often, between mother and daughter.  It was a privilege to get to photograph these two in their home and really try to capture that relationship.  One of the things I love most about these sessions is that we don’t have to do anything grand — everyday life is worth capturing and preserving.  And these two have some very special things they do together that really deserve that documentation — they have their very own mother-daughter book club, they have kitchen dance parties on the regular, and they love to cook together.  Even aside from that, they help each other out (some of our time together was spent rehanging a special banner in N’s room), and embrace the whimsical side of life.  “What are some other things you two like to do together?” I asked.  “Oh, we love to draw on the table!” said N.  Draw on the table, I ask my myself — is she just being silly or is this a real thing?  Totally serious — N has such a cool mom, L painted an old coffee table with chalkboard paint and keeps chalk in the attached drawer!  How cool is that?

What are some special things you like or liked to do with your mom?  I’d love to hear about what has made that relationship special for you.  For me, I always loved baking with my mom and knitting with her (I’m very lucky to be able to say we still love doing those things!) Here are some of my favorites of N and L:

 

Mom + Me Portraits | Arlington, MA

Teen Lifestyle Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Teen Lifestyle Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Teen Lifestyle Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

In my last post, I talked a lot about why in-home family portraits are great for younger kids, but they are also fantastic for teens.  Adolescence can be such a tricky time, and for teens to be somewhere they can really feel comfortable in their own skin can make such an enormous difference.  With an in-home portrait session, we can really capture the family in its natural environment, and in some of those special spots in the house.  For teen siblings who do love each other of course, but may be in a phase where they aren’t each other’s biggest fan, an in-home portrait session can also help show that love without putting too much strain — these two kiddos both love their dog, they love playing video games together in the attic, and they also like to play games together, so we really focused on those to keep everyone happy.  We also got to showcase some of their individual passions — guitar and drawing.  And for the family shot, every teen’s favorite thing is goofing off in ways that will make their parents crazy, right?  So we definitely had some silliness to get that genuine love showing through.  Here are a few of my favorites, and I suspect these folks will love the memories these have captured for them.

 

Teen Lifestyle Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Black & White Family Portraits | Winchester, MA

Black & White Family Portraits | Winchester, MA

Black & White Family Portraits | Winchester, MA

This session is a bit of a departure from what I usually show.  While all my portrait sessions include all the final images in both color and black & white, for this session, we were going for a truly classic look and the client requested all black & white.  With the strong dappled light in the location they chose, it was a good choice for so many reasons and helped to really highlight what we all wanted to highlight.

With three year old twins and a six year old, it was tons of fun to be outdoors where they could run off steam and really show off their stuff — for 3 year old E, jumping is a new skill and she was particularly excited to show me how high she could go.  It was chilly, also, so we had lots of snuggles, which helped these kiddos adjust to being in front of the camera, as well.  Even with all the activity, we had some lovely quiet sweet moments as well, especially between the twins, as well as some super sweet moments between the two sisters.  When the kids were feeling all done, mom and dad got in front of the camera — sometimes it’s hard to take a moment to just be a couple when you have three busy kids, and I love to be able to help give an excuse for that pause 🙂 Here are a few of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy them as much I enjoyed photographing them:

Black & White Family Portraits | Winchester, MA

In-Home Family Lifestyle Portraits | Arlington, MA

In-Home Family Lifestyle Portraits | Arlington, MA

In-Home Family Lifestyle Portraits | Arlington, MA

A lot of people feel that they can’t have family portraits in their home — that it’s too dark, too messy, too whatever.  I’m here to tell you we can ALWAYS find a spot.  This family has a gorgeous home, but they also have three kids.  As a mom of three myself, I promise I am NEVER EVER judging.  I know there’s no such thing as “totally tidy” with kids around.  But you know what, I also kind of love photographing a home in its semi-natural state.  This is how your children will remember their childhood home, and all the memories that go along with that.  Sure, we make beds and clear distractions as we move around the house for portraits, but I promise you it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Light is one of the other things I hear concerns about a lot when it comes to in-home portrait sessions.  The day I photographed these folks, it was DARK.  Gloomy, rainy, gross out..  Like lots of homes, the windows are there, but aren’t always huge or plentiful. And you know what?  We still find the light.  Every home (even my own, of which I am the worst critic!) has light that can be found.

Best of all, kids who might be reluctant in front of the camera are on their own turf when you choose to have your portraits done in your home.  It’s a more natural environment for them — one of these cuties showed me magic tricks and his snazzy origami skills, and that was just what was needed to get him warmed up and involved.  Here are a few of my favorites:

 

In-Home Family Lifestyle Portraits | Arlington, MA

 

 

Central Massachusetts Family Portraits

Central Massachusetts Family Portraits | Royalston, MA

Central Massachusetts Family Portraits | Royalston, MA

Before 2019 came to a close, I was so thrilled to get to head out to beautiful Royalston, MA for a portrait session with these lovely folks.  The drive out there was absolutely gorgeous, even with all the leaves gone from the trees.  For this city girl, it’s always a special treat to get to go for a drive in the “country” and this drive did not disappoint!   The scenery was definitely inspiring as I headed out towards Royalston for this session.

With children and grandchildren visiting from warmer climes (California and Texas!) the snow on the ground was exciting and fun, but we also headed in after a while to keep everyone from freezing.  The outdoors was gorgeous, and inside the house was cozy, and the kids were just a delight to follow around, documentary-style as they enjoyed their visit and some down time.   With a cozy fire going, and hot beverages all around, it was a treat to get to document these folks as they are now — capturing memories that they will get to look back on through the years.

Because this session was scheduled super last-minute, right during the week between Christmas and New Year, my regular babysitters were all out of town, and I ended up bringing my three year old son, Ezra, with me.  He was a good sport, though with a mom as a photographer, he totally assumed at first that he was supposed to be IN the pictures (I convinced him to stand behind me 🙂 ).  He wanted to bring his new duplos to play with while I was working, and you can spot him in one of the indoor shots here playing with the kids I was photographing 🙂  Normally I wouldn’t bring him, but now he’s super proud he was able to come to work with Mama, and I’m glad I got to show him what I do!

With a combination of more posed shots and more candid ones, this was such a fun session, and I look forward to seeing these folks the next time they’re in town!  Here are a few of my favorites.

Central Massachusetts Family Portraits | Royalston, MA

Arlington MA Santa Photos

Arlington MA Santa Photos

Arlington MA Santa Photos

Love the photos with the kiddos and the one with Santa!  Can’t thank you enough and hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving!  – M (mom of three)
Every year, Beacon Group Real Estate hosts a holiday party at Menotomy Grill in Arlington.  They invite all their clients, along with a very special guest 😉  “Santa Dan” of ImSanta.org was such a delight to work with, and he kept kids and adults alike smiling throughout the afternoon.  Kids brought lists to share and earnestly chatted with Santa about what gifts they’re hoping for.  No tears on Santa’s lap here — for kids who weren’t comfortable sitting directly with Santa, I worked with them to figure out something they were comfortable with — as always, keeping the kids happy is my #1 priority (and happier kids always take better pictures!).   One of the things I loved about this event was that there was really time for the kids to warm up if they needed that — no rushing, and I think it really shows in the final images.
There was one very special set of twins who were so enthralled, they spent a huge amount of time just hanging out with Santa between portraits, and they were totally adorable.  For those who celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a lovely holiday!

Arlington MA Santa Photos

Playful Family Portraits | Winchester, MA

Playful Family Portraits | Winchester, MA

This was a total dream of a session.  The gorgeous light helped, the well-coordinated outfits helped, the beautiful location helped, but the real thing that made this session magic?  The playfulness of this family.  Twin girls with a lot of energy and parents who trusted me to get images they could put on their holiday cards and hang on their walls.  As a mom of three high-energy kids myself, high-energy kids at a portrait session don’t both me in the least — I love it!  We ran races to the top of a hill, played games, and at one point, one of the girls even licked her sister 😉   We got goofy shots and classic shots, and it was all part of a gallery that I think really speaks to who this family is this year.  When they look back at these images in 30 years, they’ll recognize themselves and this time in their lives.

I know lots of families DREAD going to a portrait session, worried about kids’ behavior and how the pictures will turn out.  I’ve found that when you let kids be kids, not worrying about having them stay still for the “perfect” shot, we get great images that are both beautiful and real.  My #1 rule for portrait sessions is to have fun.  If we’re not having fun, it will absolutely show, and you won’t be as happy with your images.  I was so happy when I got this feedback after this session:

The girls really enjoyed meeting you — they said you made the session really fun.

That right there?  Job done 🙂

Playful Family Portraits | Winchester, MA

Family Photographer Arlington, MA

Family Photographer Arlington MA

Family Photographer Arlington, MA

Oh my goodness, we had such a lovely time in Arlington with this family — adorable children, lovely parents, beautiful foliage — what more could a photographer ask for?  We climbed rocks, played with pinecones, and had a great time on the playground when we were done with the more posed shots.  One of the really important things, I think, about family photography is to really follow the children’s lead — happy kids = great family photos.  I love when families trust me on that and we get to create amazing portraits together!  Here are a few of my favorites from my time with these folks:

 

Family Photographer Arlington, MA

Toddler Fall Portraits

Toddler Fall Portraits | Brookline, MA

Toddler Fall Portraits

We had such a beautiful day in Brookline, MA for fall portraits with these folks.  It was my third time photographing them, and it was so lovely to see how the kids have grown since last year!  We had a great time playing with the leaves and running races and climbing trees.  We had gorgeous foliage and lovely light in the late afternoon.  The boys had so much fun, I got the following email from their mom the evening after our session together:

Thanks so much for all of your patience and flexibility with this afternoon’s shoot.  The location was great, and we lucked out with the weather. I’m glad that you were able to get enough material in between meltdowns and testing limits.
When we got home, all Jacob and Ben wanted to do was use the telescope to pretend to take a photo shoot. They even gave [their dad] and me commands for placement! You made quite the impression!
Thanks again!
Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

 

Toddler Fall Portraits

Fall Family Photographer

Fall Family Photographer | Lexington, MA

Fall Family Photographer

It was so lovely to get to work with this family for a third time for their annual family portraits.  This time we went, as one of the kids said “to the forest” after a more urban choice last year.  It was a chilly fall morning, but the kids were bundled to keep them happy, and we had a great time exploring.  Big sister A was very exciting to see where all the squirrels and chipmunks were going.  There was even a very gallant moment of beloved stuffed animal sharing that was heart-meltingly adorable.  Here are a few of my favorites:

 

Fall Family Photographer

Group Family Session

Group Family Session | Wellesley, MA

Group Family Session

Did you know that I allow families to arrange their own mini-sessions?  If you have a group of at least three families, I am happy to do a custom set-up, and offer a discount on the session fees.  These folks have been doing this with another photographer for years, who referred them to me because she is closing up shop.  They were delightful to work with!  After each of the families had their turn, we did a few group shots of the kids — the older girls are all the same age and the moms were in a moms’ group together — as someone whose support village is heavily inclusive of mom-group friends, even as my oldest approaches the close of his first decade, I understand just how special these relationships can be.  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

Group Family Session

First Year Package

First Year Package | Winchester, MA

First Year Package

For their older child’s first year package, the timing didn’t quite work out to do a session with foliage, so this time around with their second little one, that was a priority.  And boy oh boy did the trees oblige!  One thing these folks did that was super helpful was that they hired a “mother’s helper” — an older kid — to hang out with their active toddler when we were more focused on the baby.  While not necessary, it did make it a more enjoyable session for everyone involved to have that extra pair of hands!  Here are a few of my favorites from their session:

 

Extended Family Portrait Session 

Extended Family Portrait Session | Lexington, MA

Extended Family Portrait Session

With relatives coming from as far away as Maine for this extended family portrait session, I was so pleased we had gorgeous foliage and perfect light.  With three little cousins, who were absolutely charming together, and sisters-in-law who acted more like sisters by birth, and grandchildren who were so pleased to be with their grandparents, this was just such a delightful session to photograph!  The most newlywed of the couples also got a chance to recreate a few images they had been hoping their wedding photographer would capture, but s/he hadn’t.  We were silly and serious and just generally had a lot of fun.  Here are a few of my favorites:

 

 

First Year Baby Package

First Year Baby Package | Stoneham, MA

First Year Baby Package

Such a joy to see these folks (and their fantastic au pair, who joined us for this session) in Stoneham for baby Z’s second session of his first year baby package.  Hard to believe he’s 7 months already!  We really lucked out with the weather clearing up so we could go outside, and there’s a lovely bit of conservation land within an easy walk of their home.  We had some good fall color and had a grand time exploring the woods and fields.  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together.  I was super touched by mom’s enthusiasm when I sent her gallery — a quick text telling me “Mira!  Those are just too gorgeous!”

 

Fun Lexington Family Photographer | Lexington, MA

Fun Lexington Family Photographer

Sometimes, a toddler who usually wakes up from his nap happy and ready to go wakes up a major grump — that’s when I’ve got to make sure my fun family photographer hat is on especially tight (it’s always on, but it never hurts to give it a good tug!).   This was the second time I had photographed this fantastic family, so I know these kids like to MOVE.  We climbed, we jumped, we ran races, and before we knew it, they had put their cooperation hats on 😉

Every session is a little different, and a good family photographer will flex to meet the needs of the kids <3  Here are a few of my favorites from our time at this session in Lexington, MA!

Fun Lexington Family Photographer

Fun Family Photographer

Fun Family Photographer | Arlington, MA

Fun Family Photographer | Arlington, MA

Sometimes, it’s family portrait day and everyone just wakes up on the wrong side of the bed.  I’ve certainly been there, as a mom, when it’s time for my own family’s photos.  And while my own children are wise to all my tricks (let’s be honest, they’ve seen it ALL before.  On repeat.), I can sometime be lucky enough to pull some magic with clients who may not be quite so acclimated to my bad jokes and hilarious klutziness.

It was a privilege to get to work with this amazing family for the third time, and maybe because they were repeat clients, when their kiddos were having a rough morning (the little one had woken up hours earlier than usual, because of course he did), they trusted me to pull out those smiles they love so much.  We played games, we ran races, I did some seriously ridiculous things the get these kids grinning, but it was all worth it, and all in a day’s work — seeing those smiles appear (real smiles, not the “mom told me I have to smile” smiles) makes all the hard work worth it.  Here are some of my favorites from our time together.

Fun Family Photographer | Arlington, MA

Breastfeeding Portraits

Breastfeeding Portraits | Belmont, MA

Breastfeeding Portraits

So many people were interested in the breastfeeding portraits I did last month for World Breastfeeding Week that we scheduled another go-round this past weekend.  We had four moms and their little nurslings come, and it was again an unbelievably gorgeous evening for portraits in Belmont, MA.  Like before, the session fees were donated to help support the incredible (and incredibly important) work of Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast.  I feel so lucky to get to work with so many amazing families — here are some of my favorites of these folks.  If you’d like to schedule a portrait session to document your special feeding relationship with your child (however you feed them!) please get in touch — I love being able to celebrate these important relationships!

Breastfeeding Portraits

Wellesley Family Photographer 

Wellesley Family Photographer | Extended Family Session

Wellesley Family Photographer 

Booked as a birthday present for the matriarch of the family, this family portrait session in Wellesley, MA was so much fun!  We shot in their backyard, and it was so much fun, and we had such lovely light!  With a toddler who was happy to play and adults who were willing to let a little silly into our evening, we had that perfect combination of relaxed subjects and gorgeous light that makes for perfect portraits — and how gorgeous is this backyard?  Here are a few of my favorites from this session — I hope you like them as much as I enjoyed working on them!

Lexington Family Session

Lexington Family Session | Boston Family Photographer

Originally scheduled for one of the rainiest Springs on record, this Lexington family session had perfect weather — low humidity, gorgeous light, and happy teens (happy teens!  can’t get much better than that!).   We went to a quiet part of this park (no teens want to run into people they know unexpectedly 😉 ) and had so much FUN.  People often expect portrait sessions with toddlers to be playful, because that’s the only way toddlers really know how to interact, but portrait sessions with teens can be playful too.  The games are different, but the goal is the same: to bring out real moments and smiles and show the love within the family.  Even better, teens often have their own ideas of what they want to do, and I always love to incorporate those — sometimes they work better than others, but it’s so important that they feel like they are an important part of the portrait process.  It goes a long way towards getting good cooperation.  With parents who are willing to be a little silly and let their teens have that kind of input also, we end up with such a good dynamic that makes the whole session go so much more smoothly than when teens are told to “just smile.”

 

Lexington Family Session

World Breastfeeding Week Portraits

World Breastfeeding Week Portraits | Belmont, MA

World Breastfeeding Week Portraits

Last week, I was asked if I would be up for throwing together a portrait session for World Breastfeeding Week.   On such short notice, not very many people were available, but we had a gorgeous evening (in between massive thunderstorms in the afternoon and later at night) and the light was just perfect.  We did a couple of group shots, and then two of the participants opted in to do individual mini-sessions (with the proceeds going to support our local non-profit milk bank, Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast).  I’m so pleased to be able to share some of my favorites from our time together.

We’re looking at planning another breastfeeding portrait session in September (when sunset is at a time more fitting for small children’s bedtimes and the weather is a bit cooler 🙂 ) so stayed tuned!  The date will be announced on my Facebook page.

 

World Breastfeeding Week Portraits

Newton Family Photographer | Newton, MA

Newton Family Photographer

It was such a pleasure to work with these folks who gathered for a family reunion in Newton, MA from all over the country and the world.  With family members coming from as far as Belgium, I was contacted by the matriarch to take some photos of them while they were in town.  We met in a small park near where they were staying, and despite the rain earlier in the day had lovely light.  The kids were so fun to work with (ranging from toddlers to teens, it was so lovely to see how they all got along so nicely!).  Here’s a small selection of some of my favorite images from our time together:

Newton Family Photographer

Lexington Family Photographer

Lexington Family Photographer | Birthday Portraits

Lexington Family Photographer

From a maternity session to newborn, and now such a big kid on the move as she celebrated her first birthday, it has been such a delight to follow Clara’s journey.  I’m not sure I’ve ever met such a smiley toddler in my life (which should totally not have surprised me given how smiley she was even as a newborn!).  We had a great time exploring and had PERFECT weather — 70s and crisp and gorgeous evening light — we could not have asked for a better summer evening.  With one dress that was a gift from Grandma, and another that’s her special birthday party dress, this little one totally rocked her session, and I’m so excited to get to share these with you!

Lexington Family Photographer

Cambridge Birthday Photographer | Milestone Portraits

Cambridge Birthday Photographer

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I first met Carl at his newborn session!  He’s grown so much, and I’ve loved getting to watch his personality develop along with the relationship with his older brother!  We had a gorgeous morning for his birthday portraits in Cambridge, MA.  We had many sweet moments, and silly moments, but I have to say my very favorite moment was when big brother Anders told a friend he saw “I can’t play right now.  I’m doing pictures with my friend Mira!”  — I totally melted.  I *hope* that the kids I work with enjoy their time with me!  Here are a few of my favorites from Carl’s session:

Cambridge Birthday Photographer

Arlington Child Photographer

Arlington Child Photographer | Sister Portraits

Arlington Child Photographer

It was such a treat to get to see these two cuties again!  I photographed them last Spring, and they had both grown so much!  Big sister is about to start kindergarten, and little sister is about to start “halloween” (gotta love toddlers!).  Mom and Dad had gotten married at the Lyman Estate in Waltham, but that wasn’t available for portraits, so we checked out other options and settled on the gorgeous Whittemore-Robbins House in Arlington.   We had a gorgeous day and took advantage of the many spots in the house both indoors and out.  While the setting and the outfits were more formal, we still got lots of giggles in 🙂  Here are a few of my favorites:

Arlington Child Photographer

Brookline Family Photographer | Extended Family Portraits

Brookline Family Photographer

Two years ago, I worked with this fantastic family on an extended family session, and was so excited when they got in touch for an update!  The kids were fantastic, and we had a beautiful spot to work with in the grandparents’ yard in Brookline.  It was such a treat to get to see how the kids had grown (and to meet a brand new one who wasn’t around the last time I saw them!).  They were all just such a joy to work with, and I’m excited to share a few of my favorite images with you from their session:

Brookline Family Photographer

Lexington Family Photographer | Lexington, MA

Lexington Family Photographer

You know what they say about best-laid plans?  Typically, the weather app I use is pretty accurate.  I’d even been hearing on NPR, the morning of this session, about how 6-day weather forecasts are now as accurate as 2-day weather forecasts were in the 1970s.  So, as the day went on the chance of thunderstorms in the evening dropped to zero (and not just on my app, but cross-checked), this client and I felt pretty confident moving ahead with her extended family session.  We got there and the kids were great and the light was lovely.  Just as we were really starting to hit our stride, a big thundercloud came up and sat there menacingly.  I zoomed through the rest of the groupings they wanted before the downpour started, and we even got a few more shots as we took cover on the way to the parking lot.  But it did feel a little rushed, and I wanted to make sure they were happy with their images, so I offered them a short reshoot the following evening.  We stuck to a location closer to home for them for this one, and with the time pressure off and clear skies, we were able to get more of the cuddly, less posed moments my clients love.  Here are a few of my favorites from my time with this family:

Lexington Family Photographer

Indoor Family Portraits

Indoor Family Portraits | Arlington, MA

It had been two years since I last saw these folks, but it was wonderful to see how their kids had grown when they joined me for indoor family portraits for my recent Arlington Family Connection fundraiser.   With young kids, I keep things silly and relaxed and help the kids be comfortable in front of the camera — my goal is to make my clients comfortable enough that their true selves can shine through.  These girls were all in — they had so many giggles and we had a great time!  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

Indoor Family Portraits

Home Garden Family Portraits | Teen Portraits | Newtown, MA

This inquiry for a family portrait session with two teens came along when we were still in the depths of winter — home garden family portraits were a far away dream.  Little did we know then that we would have such a cold, rainy spring.  Lucy mentioned in her inquiry that she had two teens at home and that her grandmother lives with them and does a lot of gardening at their home — we were both thrilled at the idea of doing their family portraits in the garden.  When the day rolled around, we were lucky in the weather — one of so few truly nice days in the past month or two.  The garden wasn’t quite as far along as it might have been, but was green and lovely, and the teens were happy to be in photos (not always a given!).  This session was definitely a highlight of my spring, and I’m excited to get to share these highlights with you:

Joyful Blossom Family Portraits | Arlington, MA

 

When trying to think of a phrase that would describe this session, “joyful blossom family portraits” was what came to mind.  The kids were joyful and the blossoms themselves added a sense of joy to what has been an incredibly rainy, gloomy spring.  These folks invited some friends along as well, which led to some wonderful silly moments.

The blossoms I use in this session are incredibly fleeting — one thing that helped this session happen was to talk ahead of time and get everything all worked out except the exact day.  That way, when the clouds broke and the flowers were in bloom we could have a quick confirmation chat and strike while the iron was hot.  Here are a few of my favorites from these joyful blossom family portraits:

 

 

powerful breastfeeding portraits

Breastfeeding Portraits | Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition

Several months ago, I was approached by the web developer who is working with the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition on developing their new website.  They needed breastfeeding portraits to use in their new design.  Perhaps I could find 2-3 moms willing to model for this project?  As a breastfeeding mom myself, and former volunteer breastfeeding counselor with Nursing Mothers’ Council, I was SO excited to work with Mass. Breastfeeding Coalition on this project!  I knew they were on a tight deadline (they are hoping to launch the new site on Mothers’ Day), so I quickly sent a model call out into the world and was OVERWHELMED with the response.

Within 24 hours, more than 70 mothers had applied.  Sifting through was quite a task, but I was so excited to be able to showcase the diversity of breastfeeding experiences in our lovely commonwealth.  I was sorry I couldn’t photograph everyone who applied, but so pleased to be able showcase racial and ethnic diversity, different ages of nurslings from 7 days old all the way up to a few three year olds, and every age in between.  One mom was excited to be able to help show that plus-sized moms can breastfeed, another excited to showcase her prosthetic leg is no barrier to breastfeeding her toddler.  We were able to include a family with two moms, and a mom with twins.  We photographed breastfeeding dyads in a cafe, at home, in a park, waiting for the T, and in a library, a pregnant mom who breastfed her older two and is looking forward to breastfeeding her new little one, and were able to showcase a pumping mom as well.

Here are some of my favorites — more than 65, and it was SO hard to narrow it down this much. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed working on this project!

sisters Outdoor Family Portraits

Outdoor Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Sometimes things don’t go quite according to plan.  For these outdoor family portraits, we had perfect weather, a gorgeous location, and kids who were excited about pictures.  But just before I arrived, the littlest one got a splinter from a stick she was playing with and was so upset she wouldn’t let anyone help her get it out.  Luckily, we were able to coax some smiles from her anyway, and we had a nice time jumping on rocks and climbing fences and exploring despite it all.  Here are a few of my favorites from these outdoor family portraits, and I hope you enjoy them!

Teen Family Portraits | Arlington, MA

It was such a pleasure to meet these folks.  They had a spot in Arlington’s Great Meadow they wanted to go for their teen / family portraits, and I was excited to get to do their portraits in a spot they love so much.  With their oldest heading off to college in the fall, this was a great time to capture images of them as a family of four before they enter another phase.   With teens, they are so aware of what’s going on that sometimes it can be a bit tricky to get them to loosen up and have some fun in front of the camera, so we played some games to get some real smiles.  Here are some of my favorites from our time for their teen / family portraits:

Boston area newborn portraits

Boston Area Newborn Portraits | Stoneham, MA

Boston Area Newborn Portraits

It was such a pleasure to get to see these folks again!  I had photographed their older son’s first year through my first year portrait package, and it was such a joy to get to see them again as they welcomed their second son to their family.  As a photographer in the Boston area, newborn portraits are one of my very favorite things to photograph.

With such an adorable little one and proud big brother, how could I not love jobs like this!  I’m so excited to get to capture little baby Z’s first year as well and watch him grow.

Lifestyle Newborn Portraits | Winchester, MA

After capturing their older daughter as a newborn, and recent maternity session, I was so excited to get to go meet the newest member of this wonderful family in Winchester, MA.  Baby R was so alert and awake, and I think he totally rocked his lifestyle newborn portraits.   It was such a joy to see his big sister be so excited about him, and see how he just fits in so well.  Big sister C was especially excited about how baby R can listen to stories too — she picked out one of her favorites to have their mom read to him at one point during the session, which was so, so sweet.

birthday milestone portraits

Birthday Milestone Portraits | First Year Package | Cambridge, MA

It was a chilly, slightly snowy afternoon for these birthday milestone portraits.  Little R has grown so much since I first met him at his newborn session, and it has been such a delight to watch him grow over the course of this year.  We started out outdoors, taking advantage of the softly drifting snowflakes, stopping at one point for a quick snack for R (his mom said then “What could be more New England than a picnic in the snow?” with a smile).  As R got chilly, we headed indoors, where he had fun exploring hallways and windows that were delightfully mirror-like.  Another first year package has come to an end, but it was a true joy to work with these folks over the past year.

newborn and siblings portraits

Newborn and Sibling Portraits | Arlington, MA

Ahhh…  I know I’m a bit of a broken record, but there is seriously nothing I love more than getting an email or phone call asking about newborn and sibling portraits because one of my former newborn clients is pregnant again.  I had captured big brother T’s newborn portraits  a year and a half ago, and had such a lovely time with these folks.  I was so excited to learn they were expecting a little girl, and even more excited to meet her!  Baby A’s newborn session happened to be on the day of a big Patriot’s game, so we did a few showing her (and the whole family’s) team spirit, as well as the more standard newborn shots 🙂

home maternity portraits

Home Maternity Portraits | Winchester, MA

I last got to photograph these folks when their daughter was a newborn, and it was so nice to get to photograph them again.  This time was for home maternity portraits in their lovely home, with their charming toddler!  I am so excited to meet their new little one in a few weeks for his newborn session, and it was so exciting to see Charlotte be so excited to be a big sister.

One of the nicest things about maternity portraits is that they capture a very fleeting moment — not just pregnancy which, of course, last for a limited time, but also their time as a family of three before they become a family of four.