Category: Families

Bright Foliage Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Bright Foliage Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Bright Foliage Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

I love getting to see my First Year Program families again, even after their children have all turned one.  At their last session, we made a plan for this fall — these folks were going to have an awesome-sounding vow renewal / anniversary party, and they wanted me to photograph it.  I said yes in a heartbeat.  As spring turned to Summer, we held out hope against hope that the party might be possible by some miracle when October rolled around, but sadly that wasn’t to be.  Instead, we shifted the plan to a family session outdoors and distanced — just the four of them and me.  In a week where the clouds decided to finally show up after MONTHS and give us some good, drenching rains (which are so badly needed, still!), I was so glad to not have to postpone for rain with these folks — we had perfect, gorgeous weather and we had a really fun time.

These kiddos were just too cute — little brother is super serious, and big brother is a bit of a ham, and it was just so clear how much they adore each other.  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together.  I still have some openings in November, if you’d like to reach out about a portrait session for your family.

Bright Foliage Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Front Yard Family Session | Burlington, MA

Front Yard Family Session | Burlington, MA

There’s no place like home!  These folks asked if they could do their family portrait session in their yard, and I was happy to do that for them.  With gorgeous foliage, and free range cats joining us, what could be better?  In addition, the kids were clearly comfortably in their own space, which is always a major bonus.  You can totally see the two cats photo bombing in one of these images — comment below if you find them.  With snuggles and games, this was a fun session!  The kids loved getting to run around, and I hope the parents love the natural expressions I was able to get through the games we played.

One of the things I’m very aware of right now is all the covid precautions that are necessary to keep myself and my clients safe as we make our way through this strange time of pandemic — a session in your own yard is a great way to ensure we won’t have too many people around during your photo shoot.  If you’d like to find out how it all works, you can check out my pricing and frequently asked questions here on my website, and never hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.  Here are some of my favorites from my time with these folks:

Front Yard Family Session | Burlington, MA

Fall Leaves Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fall Leaves Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fall Leaves Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

All my portrait sessions are about love (yes, even headshots and personal branding sessions!), but this one was particularly special.  In June, I got an email from R saying:

My daughter (11) and I are Arlington residents since 2013. My boyfriend and his two daughters (almost 6 and 3) are planning to move from Leominster to join us in the near future and we are going to be purchasing a new home in Arlington together. We thought it would be a nice start to our new blended family to have some pictures of all of us together!

So we scheduled for the first weekend in October, and boy oh boy did we luck out with the gorgeous leaves (which have been turning a little earlier than normal this year because of the drought).  R read through my family session prep guide and came up with perfect outfits for everyone, and these kids were such a hoot to work with.  They especially enjoyed the games I prompted them with, and the 11 year old was extremely patient, both with games aimed at the younger kids, and just in general (I have a ten year old, so I definitely don’t take a tween’s cheerful cooperation for granted!).  Here are some of my favorites from our time together:

Fall Leaves Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

What is Child-Led Portrait Photography? | Somerville, MA

What is Child-Led Portrait Photography? | Somerville, MA

What is Child-Led Portrait Photography? | Somerville, MA

What do you want to remember about when your child was small?  The giggles?  The snuggles?  Their sense of wonder?  I love capturing all of that, and I do it by having child-led, or child-friendly portrait sessions.  What does that mean, though?  It means that, ultimately, your child or children call the shots during your portrait session.  I prepare ahead of time with some fun games and prompts that I think a child the age of yours will enjoy, but ultimately, I follow your child’s lead.

In this session this past weekend, we met at sunrise because that’s when this little girl is happiest.  We did some of the standard “everyone looking” shots before we lost that just-woke-up happy mood, and then we followed her lead!  She was absolutely fascinated with the sticks on the ground (there were a LOT of sticks from a recent wind storm), and as a toddler, all she wanted to do was walk and climb.  So I channeled what she naturally wanted with some prompts to help keep her in as good light as possible and engaged with me (and by extension, the camera).  I say this as both a professional who has been in the portrait photography business for 6 years as well as a mom of three kids myself — an 18 month old is not a child you can reason with — they have newfound freedom of movement and they are going to use it, so you basically have two choices — you can work with them, or work against them by having set ideas of what your session is going to look like.  Sometimes it’s a little hard for parents to relax into a child-led session, but these folks were fantastic with going with the flow.  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

What is Child-Led Portrait Photography? | Somerville, MA

At Home Family Portraits | Newton, MA

At Home Family Portraits | Newton, MA

At Home Family Portraits | Newton, MA

I first met these folks last year when they did a “make your own mini-sessions” package with some friends of theirs.  This year, I met them at their own home for outdoor family portraits.  Their kids were SO excited to get to show me all their favorite parts of their yard, and it was great to be somewhere they felt so comfortable.  The children were particularly excited to show me their very cool swing set and all the fun features it crams into a small space.  They swung on swings, they played peekaboo, and we played some running games as well.  Especially during the pandemic, these folks have been going for a lot of walks in their neighborhood, so we also got some fun shots of them walking down their street.  Their yard was absolutely gorgeous and made a perfect backdrop for their family portraits.

I love doing at home portraits with the families I work with — it’s wonderful to have your family portraits be in a spot that is meaningful to you, especially in this age of everyone staying home as much as possible — when these children grow up, I’m glad they’ll have these images to remind them of this time in their lives, and how surrounded by love they were in this little oasis from the chaos of the world.  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

At Home Family Portraits | Newton, MA

Child-Friendly Portraits | Stow, MA

Child-Friendly Portraits | Stow, MA

Child-Friendly Portraits | Stow, MA

It’s Friday evening.  Everyone is tired from hybrid school and work.  The LAST thing most people want is to bring their children out for portraits.  These folks were so enthusiastic and joyful to work with, and with a child-led session, we made it so much fun.   What does it mean to have a child-led or child-friendly photo session? Well, for one, it means we are definitely not spending the entire hour-long session getting into precise poses and saying “cheese” at the camera.  Instead, we play games.  Games, you ask?  But what about the fact that the grandparents REALLY want a photo of everyone looking and smiling at the camera?  Never fear.  We will totally get some of those “standard” shots for Grandma and Grandpa, but the way we get there may look a little different than what you’re used to.  Instead of me placing everyone in a spot and running back to MY spot and saying “Ok, smile!” I’ll get everyone mostly set up and then give a prompt for an action to do together.  This looks a little different with each family and totally depends on the personalities and ages of the kids involved.  For this family, the kids were super active, but also had a large age spread, so I worked to come up with games and actions that ALL of them could participate in.  These kiddos had some BIG personality going on, so when they had ideas for what they wanted to do, I also ran with it — my motto is that happy kids = great portraits, and so I let them make each thing we did their own.  Here are some of my favorites from our time together — If you’d like to schedule your own child-led portrait session, drop me a line and we’ll get you on the calendar!

Child-Friendly Portraits | Stow, MA

Fall Meadow Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fall Meadow Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fall Meadow Portraits | Lexington, MA

It was so much fun to see these folks again!  I had first photographed them last fall — a time that feels like it’s whole universes away now that we’re in a pandemic.  This year, when they reached out for another portrait session, we talked about my covid precautions and I suggested we head to one of my favorite spots this year — it’s long been a favorite, but is getting even more love this year because there’s almost never anyone else there, and when there is someone (occasionally we’ll see a jogger or someone walking their dog), there is tons of space to step aside, so you don’t have to worry about getting too close.

When we got there, the trees had *just* barely started to turn, but the meadow grass was definitely giving off an Autumn vibe thanks to the drought New England has been experiencing this summer.  With bigger kids this year, we could play new and different games, which was a lot of fun.  Most kids, if I’m honest, don’t love the idea of sitting and taking pictures for an hour (honestly, neither do I — boring!) but we got their buy-in with some good games.  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

 

 

Fall Meadow Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fall Family Portraits

Fall Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fall Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

2020 has been a year of a lot of change, but one of the things that hasn’t changed is that I got to see these lovely folks for their fall family portraits.  This is the third year I’ve photographed them, and I always look forward to their session.  This year, their kids had grown SO much.  Their youngest had grown about a foot taller it seemed, and their oldest had grown up some physically, but was also just so much more grown up in the conversations we had during the session (and the jokes he made — the kid is *excellent* at puns, which I appreciate as they are my very favorite kind of joke!).

One of the things I love about my job is that it’s always a little different each time — even with the same family, we play different games, we pick a different spot for their session, and the kids are at a different developmental moment.

When I sent this gallery, mom almost immediately posted the following with some of her favorites, and it made me so happy because capturing the heart and soul of the children and families I work with is absolutely my main goal:

Cannot  Mira Whiting Photography enough! 😍😍😍 Heart and soul of my kids, right there.

Here are my favorites from our time together, and I can’t wait to see what next year brings:

Book your family portraits today — drop me a line here.

 

Fall Family Photos | Lexington, MA

Fall Family Photos | Lexington, MA

Fall Family Photos | Lexington, MA

We normally take family photos during our annual fall trip when we visit relatives, but with how this year is turning out our plans have changed and we are staying close to home . . . and we have a six year old who just lost both front teeth (and it’s absolutely adorable).

So many plans have been upended because of the Coronavirus pandemic.  From major life events like weddings, to the smallest things, like having the photographer who photographed your wedding and has been photographing your growing family ever since take photos of your six year old with his gap-toothed smile.  I was so touched when this family reached out to me about family portraits.  That gap-toothed smile is still so important to document, even in the midst of world chaos.  We have in front of us a little boy who is growing up and won’t be so little forever.

This year, traditions are changing for so many people.  For these folks, they always include a framed image from last year’s portraits in this year’s session — a way to mark the passage of time and connect the present to the past.  We got that image for them right off the bat — with so much upheaval this year, I wanted to make sure they were able to continue that tradition that is so important to them before we moved on to other shots.  We had a fantastic time exploring our surroundings, playing games, and enjoying a beautiful early Fall evening.  Here are some of my favorites from our time together:

 

Fog Soaked Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fog Soaked Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fog Soaked Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Oh my goodness.  This little girl was an adorable firecracker.  We had such a nice time in Lexington on a gloriously foggy morning.  This little one who happened to be named Mira — how fun is that!  I told her I was in high school before I met another person named Mira, and here she was meeting another one at two years old (at which point I learned I’m not even the first other Mira she’s met!).  (As an aside, my middle name is Claire, and I recently worked with a little girl named Claire, too — always fun to be able to make a bit of an extra connection!).  ANYWAY, this little girl was so fascinated with the stool I bring with me on almost every job (I’m barely over 5′ tall, so I use it to get a better angle for the portraits I take).  One of the images below was when she was on the stool — when I say my portrait sessions are child-led, I totally mean it!  If she wants the stool, she can have the stool (and I make sure to frame the image so you don’t have my beat-up old stool in your family photos!).  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together.

Fog Soaked Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fun Teen Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fun Teen Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fun Teen Portraits | Lexington, MA

We have two teenage boys so they will comply but they will be reluctant!

This was what this mom said in her initial inquiry.  Honestly?  I often find teens are harder to photograph than toddlers, because they are WAY cooler than I am and they know it 😉  These boys were a true delight to work with, and if they were reluctant, they certainly didn’t show me (much 😉 ).   With teens, I like to get them moving — it’s such a self-conscious time of life, and the less they can be focusing on me, the better the images will come out.  I have a bunch of games/prompts I use with families with older kids (these teens were kind enough to play along!) but just like with younger kids, I find it’s really helpful to follow the teens’ lead — giving them a say in how they’re photographed goes a long way towards helping them feel comfortable in front of the camera.  These boys were totally game to not only try my prompts, but to add some suggestions of their own.  Mom and Dad got in on it too, and it was such a pleasure to get a little glimpse into who they really are as a family.  Their oldest is a senior this year, and I’m sure they’ll stay close, but things change when a child moves out, and I was so glad to get to capture this magic for them before this big change happens and he’s done with high school.

Here are a few of my favorites from our time together — I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them!

Fun Teen Portraits | Lexington, MA

Emotive Family Photography | Lexington, MA

Emotive Family Photography | Lexington, MA

Emotive Family Photography | Lexington, MA

What is emotive family photography? That was just the question this mom asked during the process of booking her family’s portrait session.  It’s a great question!   There are lots of different styles of portrait photography, and I like to describe my style as emotive.  Yes, we go to a beautiful spot.  Yes, I know how to work with light and how to pose people in a way that flatters them.  But the real heart (ha, pun not intended, or maybe it was?) of my portraits is emotion — both the emotions expressed by the people who are being photographed, as well as the emotions they evoke in those people and others when they are viewed after the fact (when the gallery is delivered; 10 years down the line when the kids are heading off to college; 30 years down the line when the kids in these portraits are showing them to their own children).  It’s why I value the experience so much for my clients — I want them to feel good while they are being photographed, and be able to remember those happy moments when they look back at the images later on.  Do we still get the “everyone looking and smiling” shot? Of course!  But it’s kind of an in-between shot — most of the images in the gallery are all about movement and prompting emotional responses that help the session flow — once everyone is comfortable, we snag that everyone looking shot, and it’s a better shot for coming after everyone has had a chance to relax into the session.

 

Birthday Portraits | Lexington, MA

Birthday Portraits | Lexington, MA

It’s a little bittersweet, ending a First Year Package — I love getting to watch babies grow from the adorable little lump of newborn to active, mobile toddlers with personality bigger than they are.  This little guy turned one in June, but as things were just starting to re-open, his parents wanted to wait a little to see how the covid case numbers went with Massachusetts’ phased reopening before scheduling his final session, and I was happy to accommodate them — both before covid and during (and, fingers-crossed, someday we’ll get to “after”) the most important thing for me is that my clients feel comfortable in front of my camera.  The experience is as important as the final product, and the experience being good helps the final product be even better.

We had absolutely gorgeous weather when we finally got M’s final session on the calendar.  With all the major transitions going on in this little guy’s life (moving house and re-starting daycare) he was having a bit of a rough evening, but with toddlers, I let them lead the session, so we just worked around it, and still got to capture images that show what an amazing kid he is.  Here are just a few of my favorites from our time together:

Birthday Portraits | Lexington, MA

Boston Maternity Photographer | Belmont, MA

Boston Maternity Photographer | Belmont, MA

I have been photographing this family for several years now, and it was such a pleasure to get to see them again as they get ready welcome their third child next month.  We had gorgeous golden hour light — this time of year sunset is getting earlier, so we could meet at a pretty kid-friendly time and get to see the magic.

Maternity sessions can take many forms — sometimes it’s just mom-to-be, sometimes it’s both parents, and in this case, it was basically a family session with a little extra focus on the belly.  There’s no one right answer for a maternity session — each family wants something a little different.  With these folks, the kids were so excited about welcoming their baby sister soon, so it made perfect sense to plan it essentially as a family session.

Generally, you want to schedule a maternity session late in your pregnancy, but not so late that you’re in danger of going into labor 🙂  A good rule of thumb is to plan for maternity portraits between 32-36 weeks if you have a low risk pregnancy — if there is a reason you expect you may deliver early, we can always make earlier work as well — we will just need to be extra careful with posing to showcase a smaller baby bump!

Here are a few of my favorites from my time with this family — I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them!

 

Boston Maternity Photographer | Belmont, MA

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!