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Boston Portrait Photographer | My Favorite Place for Family Photos in May

SPRING. IS. FINALLY. HERE. There are so many beautiful rural places to get great family photos in the springtime, but I think my answer will surprise you. Boston. More specifically, the South End of Boston. Maybe I am biased because this has been my neighborhood for almost 10 years but I just love the way the whole neighborhood transforms when the magnolia and cherry blossom trees blossom.

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The other thing about the South End is that it has so many options. You can find old, new, colorful, muted, and don’t even get me started on the incredible doorways. I often use people’s stoops, and of course, as soon as I sit a family down on someone’s stoop, the resident comes walking in or out. Luckily they are usually super friendly about it.

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I find myself photographing the South End/Back Bay neighborhoods in the fall because of the rich browns and cobblestone, but those backdrops really make the blossoms and spring colors pop. Don’t get me wrong, I love Boston in the fall for that reason in particular, but if it’s foliage you are looking for, you won’t find much in the South End. No, the blooms in this neighborhood are totally meant for spring.

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Almost equally as important a perk as the gorgeous scenery? The outdoor patios. I love when my clients plan on heading to dinner at one of the outdoor patios after our session. Luckily we have a lot of awesome families in the South End, so it usually isn’t a problem finding one that is kid friendly – my favorite is Picco. Best pizza in Boston AND they make their own ice cream. Done.

Boston Portrait Photographer | Taylor's Editorial Shoot

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Class of 2018 Senior Rep Victoria C introduced us to Taylor. Both of their moms are co-owners of Cupcake City, which by the way are some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever tasted, Twix and Sm’ores are among my favorites, though I’m not opposed to trying every single flavor.... Ok back to Taylor- what a riot this girl is!

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She brought so much fun and laughter on set. She was not afraid to call it how it is when a pose felt awkward, and we love that! It brings out natural smiles and really represents a subject’s true personality in the photos. Taylor wanted her senior shoot to have an editorial aesthetic, and also to highlight her favorite shoes: Christian Louboutin heels.

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Naturally, we headed over to the mill buildings for a grunge meets high fashion feel. We played around and laughed so hard as we were trying to capture some movement to show the bottom of her heels, We called this one her “fashion editorial spread” Having started out in a black slouchy sweater, we noticed as the photoshoot progressed her sweater seemed to be growing! Certain fabrics can stretch like crazy throughout a shoot, and Taylor’s sweater seemed intent on growing into a sweater dress.

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Taylor dealt with it with grace, laughter, and eventually an outfit change. Outfit number two matched perfectly with a rusty basin that we found on the floor (maybe meant to catch drips from the leaky ceiling?). After propping it up, Taylor sat down and worked her unique background.

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For our final shots, we noticed how beautifully the light was coming into the room, so we moved fast and captured some fun dramatic images. The results are some of our favorite shots of the day!

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 Winter means afternoon light in the middle of the day! That makes us happy

Boston Portrait Photographer | Rene's Edgy Mill Session

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Having heard about our client’s Jayna’s experience with her senior shoot, Rene contacted us for her senior portraits. Rene was looking for a unique and edgy location for her senior portraits and we had just the spot: the mill buildings. When Rene walked into the studio, the first thing we noticed was how expertly done her makeup was.

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One of Rene’s many passions is hair and makeup. She’s part of her school’s drama department and does the makeup for the whole cast. So naturally, Rene did her own makeup for her senior portraits. We could have sworn that she had gone to a salon to get it done, the girl has got skills!

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Throughout the shoot, we couldn’t help but ask for her makeup tips and tricks. Rene’s mom came along for the shoot, and we could see her beaming over her daughter. We convinced to the two of them to get in for a mother/daughter photo and they snuggled close for a very special moment.

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After getting shot after shot of Rene absolutely working the camera, we wrapped up the shoot with a fun laughing shot of Rene in front of the vintage windows of the mill. Her bubbly personality truly shined in front of that red door, which makes it one of our favorite shots from our session.

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Boston Portrait Photographer | Victoria and family in the city

Victoria is another one of our Class of 2018 Senior Reps! We were so excited to shoot with her and her family, mostly because we already knew how much fun they were. We photographed her older brother Chris last year in the same location. We always encourage our high school seniors to bring siblings, friends, or Mom on their sessions. Victoria’s senior session was a little different because we also were having a family session with her family at the beginning!

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She got to have Mom, Dad, and Chris cracking jokes and making her smile while she posed for her solo shots later on in the shoot. We met the Cataldo family at Boston Common and started with some group shots on the benches to get everyone relaxed. There were lots of laughter and inside jokes being thrown around between the two siblings, which of course made Mom and Dad laugh too.

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As we made our way out of the park, and into Back Bay, we stopped to use some of the city's’ unique architecture as our backdrop; the mall, the brownstones, the wrought-iron fences.

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As the shoot turned into Victoria’s senior shoot, we started to focus more on Victoria’s passion - dance. We are convinced that one day we will see her as the prima ballerina in one of the world’s most prestigious dance companies.

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Boy does she have skill and drive! We don’t normally show our clients photos during the shoot, but for Victoria, it was important to see her form and how it photographed. And the results are stunning!

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We ended the shoot on the Charles right as the sun was about to touch the water. People passing by were convinced we were shooting a movie or advertisement, and that Victoria was a celebrity. We can see how they thought so!

Boston Portrait Photographer | Brianna's Day Off (Bueller....?)

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Who wouldn’t want to skip school for a photoshoot? That’s what senior Brianna got to do for her senior portraits! Brianna is friends and soccer teammates with one of our Senior Reps, Alena. At the crack of 8:30am, we met at the studio for Brianna’s mill building inspired shoot.

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Right off the bat, Brianna worked it. She has the natural smize down. For those of you who don’t know the Tyra Banks coined term, smize = “smile with your eyes”. And look at all of that hair! It was a bit of a wind storm when we made it outside, but she wrangled all of her long locks effortlessly.

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I even have to say, that the more windblown her hair got, the better it looked, does this girl ever have a bad hair day?? After a quick outfit change, she pulled out one of our favorite winter accessories: the blanket scarf.

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Not only is it perfect for a brisk December morning, you can’t help but have some fun with it. Soon Brianna was laughing at having to sway continuously, which brought out her fun, happy personality in the photos.

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We ended the shoot across the street in the mill buildings. I am beginning to love this early morning winter light in the mills. Showcasing a bright red off the shoulder shirt with the gritty, monochromatic backdrop resulted in Brianna absolutely shining.

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Boston Portrait Photographer | Newborn Twins in Back Bay

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In their cozy of Back Bay home, we met Shannon, her husband Daryl, and their newborn twins for a truly special photoshoot. The twins had come earlier than planned, and were just 5 lbs each. But as the saying goes, good things come in small packages. We started out the photoshoot in the twins’ nursery that was designed by Shannon.

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With a palette of creams, gold, silver, and rose gold, as well as stars and furs scattered throughout the room, the nursery was the embodiment of Shannon’s vision for the photoshoot. The twins were just beginning to nod off as we swaddled the two of them in soft pink and blue wraps.

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As we started the shoot, Oscar the cat slunk his way into the room. He sat patiently and watched us as we worked, keeping a watchful eye over his new roommates. Halfway though, Grandma popped in to see how her new grandchildren were doing, and found them fast asleep comfy in the fabric and fur that was their background.

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After finishing in the nursery, Shannon, Daryl, the twins, and even Oscar joined us in Mom and Dad’s room. The family piled onto the bed and snuggled close, again surrounded in the pinks and creams that Shannon so thoughtfully decorated with.

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The results reflect the warmth and love found in their home. Congratulations Shannon and Daryl on your growing family!

Boston Portrait Photographer | Emily's Windy Session!

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A lot of our clients are dancers, including Emily. But not every client of ours gets her photoshoot wardrobe from her dance teacher! After the outfits she ordered didn’t work out and it was the night before the shoot, Emily raided her dancer teacher’s closet and found some awesome outfits. Shout out to her teacher for saving the day and having an amazing wardrobe, and to Emily for putting everything together so well. Of course with so many interesting outfit options, we couldn’t leave anything outl. We started the shoot in the studio and soon realized how great Emily’s hair blew in the wind.

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With our long list of outfits and locations, we knew one of our stops had to be the Duck Bridge. Getting your hair to cooperate while on a windy bridge is not easy, and some people can find it very frustrating. But not Emily. She had a positive attitude the whole way through and did not let a sudden gust of wind catch her off guard. As you can see, her patience paid off!

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After a short walk, we had our finale outfit over by the pink door that matched perfectly with her dress. Similar to Emily’s hair, this dress was meant to be carried by the wind. We had her spinning and dancing in the wind, which turned into a lot of laughs, and a LOT of great photo opps.

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I think Emily’s mom Melissa, who was there snapping some behind-the-scenes photos, had just as much fun as her daughter. Emily is such a positive ball of energy, and up for anything to get the shot, we had so much fun shooting with her!
 

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Boston Family Photographer | Chicago Family Visits the East Coast to Create Lasting Memories

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One of our favorite places to photograph is the Boston Public Library courtyard. It is a hidden gem in Back Bay, and we had a blast photographing the Tashima Family there. They were all visiting from Chicago and Ohio, and we are so happy they picked Boston for their family photos. They were on a New England vacation together, and Boston was a stop on their way to Bar Harbor, Maine.

No one was safe from these cuties tickles and laughter!

We like to play a game called, “What’s your favorite animal?” which always entails silly animal noises. The kids’ favorite animals were zebras and penguins, leading to neighs, squawking, and chirping. The jury is still out on what a penguin sounds like.

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We took a short walk down the street to some of our favorite brownstones and the fun did not stop. From Copley Square to Beacon Street the kids were giggling and smiling the whole way.

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Mom and Dad got cozy under a tree and the kids snuggled in. We love capturing these special moments a family has together!

Boston Phographer | Back Bay Watch Co Officially Launches!!!

Back Bay Watch Co lifestyle photo shoot

Back Bay Watch Co lifestyle photo shoot

I am so so excited for the launch of this new Boston brand, Back Bay Watch Co!!! Why? Well partly because I had the honor of doing all the photography, but way more importantly because I BELIEVE in this company. I believe in the product, the integrity, and the proud owner, Mike Lembo. I personally watched Mike pour over every little detail of the watch, making sure the color, quality, and design was PERFECT.  Guys, how often to I dedicate a whole post to a specific brand or product? (answer: almost never). I love these watches. Here’s a bit about the company and quality:

Owned and operated by proud Bostonian, Michael Lembo, Back Bay Watch Company is a collection of Boston centric men’s and women’s watches that capitalize on the classic look and feel of the city.
Inspired by the well-known style of the historic Back Bay, with blocks of brownstones, recognizable gold domes, and cozy neighborhoods, each Back Bay watch is intended to represent the city’s staple features that will never go out of style. Named after the iconic streets of the Back Bay, the watches are perfect for those who share their passion for Beantown.
A watch enthusiast since an early age, Michael grew up in Waltham, MA, coincidentally named “The Watch City” for its long association with the watch industry. Michael designs each watch using elements of the favorites from his own collection. Created using top-notch materials like Japan movement, 316L stainless steel, and genuine leather, Back Bay watches can be dressed down while watching Sunday Night Football, add a touch of class for a business meeting, or be the finishing touch for a night on the town.

 

Mike, owner, and Karen

Mike, owner, and Karen

I can’t go on and on without mentioning Mike’s incredible girlfriend Karen, who works so hard behind the scenes and specifically on our lifestyle shoot in (where else) Back Bay! I loved this photo shoot for so many reasons (beautiful people don’t hurt), but mostly because these watches are SO Back Bay. They fit so perfectly against the brownstone colors and textures. Below are some of my favorite shots, and of course a few behind the scenes.

Behind the scenes with Karen

Behind the scenes with Karen

Behind the scenes with Mike

Behind the scenes with Mike

Fall style

Fall style

I can talk talk talk, but we all know actions speak louder than words…  I wear my white pearl Berkeley everyday :)

Please click here to go check out their site that just launched today!

What do you think? Leave it in the comments below...

Boston Interior Photographer | Boston Decorator's Show House

Who doesn’t love a beautifully designed room? When I heard that the 2016 Junior League of Boston Show House was using the historic Nathanial Allen House and allowing the top interior designers of Boston to create 24 uniquely stunning rooms, I couldn’t wait to visit. My friend Beth Daigle, editor of Merrimack Valley Magazine, and blogger for 3olivesandatwist came along to  co-blog about the experience… and what an experience it was walking through this incredibly restored 19th century Greek revival home.

Three months. These interior designers transformed these spaces in three months. Floors, walls, window treatments, furniture, lighting, and even plumbing in some. Each room was so well thought out and different, yet the whole house seemed to have a cohesive flow as you are walking through each room. 

The first two rooms we set foot in, The Receiving Room and The Sitting Room, designed by Gerald Pomeroy Interiors made me want to invite guests over for tea and a garden party. The center table with its massive spring floral arrangement to offset the equally grand decorative plate behind it was the first wow factor. The silk turquoise wallpaper was the second, and the floor to ceiling windows made the room shine with brightness. 

Gold accents everywhere made the room feel regal, and I have to say my favorite detail was the books covered in some sort of white linen paper. What a well thought out touch. The artwork, the colors, the styling, the Greek key detail on the floor, the details, everything came together so perfectly.

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Head over to Beth's blog on Monday and interior designer Kim Macumber's blog on Tuesday to get their take on two more rooms.

The Show House is going on through June 5th, and you can purchase tickets for $35 at www.BostonShowHouse.org and you can watch their WCVB-TV 5 shout out here

For more info on Gerald Pomeroy go to www.gpomeroyinteriors.com

Boston Photographer | Top 10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas, (and a big announcement at the end)

A few years ago, I started giving gifts based on experiences, and I have to say they are my favorite types of gifts to give. Something you can do together is the best! So here is the list, and most of them (not all) are experienced based. Make sure you read until the end of the post to see May's big announcement just for moms!

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Boston Fashion Photography | Valentine's Day "Red" Photo Shooting

January. Slow season. Time to update my website, create the yearly marketing plan… and most importantly, tap back into my creativity by planning beautiful, conceptual photo shoots with other creative people. The incredibly talented team for this one:

Fashion designer: Jack Robichaud, Jack Attackk Clothing

Hair and Makeup: Heather LoFaro

Model: Clara Duff

I’ve shot many of Jacki’s beautiful designs in the past, you can see some of them here. We came up with a “RED” concept for this shoot, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day. Not just red, but that beautiful wintery, deep wine color. Of course Jacki’s dress color was the exact match for the background that I had been dying to use since I got it a year ago, and it just moves and photographs so beautiful.

For hair and makeup, we wanted to create a lot of contrast and volume. We wanted the lips to match, and go for very dark accents with the rest of the makeup look. I was so torn for the hair, we knew we wanted volume, but up or down?! After going back and forth with Heather, she obviously nailed it.

I wanted to add even more depth and overall volume to the look by adding a headpiece. I stopped at AC Moore on my way to the studio, and created this deep red foral headpiece while Heather worked her magic, and she was able to incorporate it into the hair seamlessly.

It was our first time working with Clara, and her ability to go from sweet and silly to pro model in a snap was impressive. Those eyes! She was an absolute doll to work with, and I think (I hope) we will all be working together again soon.

Jacki is always great at doing the behind the scenes shots. There's us in action below!! We're so glamorous aren't we? :P

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Of course, we had to play a little at the end, so we took the hair down, switched up the dress and lighting, and just played for the last few shots. We thought about smearing all her makeup just to get weird, but she was going out to dinner, so we left her face alone :)

Want this, or a similar look? Contact me to plan your own concept shoot.

Jack Attackk Clothing

Hair and Makeup by Heather

Clara Duff Model

Boston Interior Photography | Les Fleurs Winter Wonderland Loft

I am a little late on this blog post, but better late than never! I think it is fitting for a pretty snow day anyway...

Merrimack Valley Home Magazine sent interior designer Linda Holt and I to this gorgeous Lawrence loft to photograph our Winter 2015 cover. The loft belonged to Les Fleurs' Event Director, Kerianne, and I literally gasped when we walked in. It was a winter wonderland… and not an in your face red and green Christmas overload… a beautiful wintery, editorial spread waiting to happen. It was everything I could have asked for in winter home décor.

She had greens and winter-whites with subtle flashes of gold and silver everywhere. Every last detail was considered, especially the small finishing touches that made it personal and inviting, such as the books on the table, and the reindeer name tags at every place setting.

Linda and I had a blast photographing the mill building converted into a loft, with the high ceilings and industrial windows (perfect window lighting). Kerianne’s details made it feel special and welcoming too, which is why I think the French press coffee setup that she put out made the cover.

The table setup was out of this world, and we really didn’t need to touch a thing to photograph it. I want these florals in my home all winter long!

You can see the full story in the Winter issue of Merrimack Valley Home Magazine, and you can find more information on Les Fleurs here.

Thanks for reading!

Questions or comments? Leave a comment below, or Contact me, I love emails

Boston Photographer | Happy 2016!!!

I'm not one for New Year's Resolutions per se, but I do love the New Year because it's a fresh start. Clean slate. A chance to brainstorm and plan for the year. And it's also the calm AFTER the storm for me. This fall was the busiest I have EVER been, and while I couldn't have been more excited to embrace it, I have to say I am happy for the down time. 2015 was the best year yet, and not just because I was busy, but because I was busy with YOU. I was busy with clients and businesses that I truly adore, and I have so much gratitude for each and every one of you.

I started this list as my top 10 favorite images from the year, but you beautiful people made it damn near impossible to narrow it down. So here it is, my top 20 favorite images from 2015.

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I can't wait to see what 2016 brings. Lots of love and gratitude my beautiful models!

If your photo made the top 20, please make sure to forward and share with all your friends!

 

Boston Photographer | Two Sisters and their New Brother at Prescott Park

I LOVE photographing a family the second time around. It’s always a great experience for me because I know them. I know their taste, I know what they already chose for albums or wall art, and I know their personalities. Karen and Dick Fitzpatrick have 5 grown kids and 8 beautiful grandkids. I had a blast photographing them at their house on the beach in Rye, NH.

Fitzpatrick extended family portrait from summer 2014 on Rye Beach

Fitzpatrick extended family portrait from summer 2014 on Rye Beach

Erin's two little girls at last year's family portrait on Rye Beach

Erin's two little girls at last year's family portrait on Rye Beach

Karen and Dick's five kids being silly together for our last photo of the day

Karen and Dick's five kids being silly together for our last photo of the day

When one of their daughters, Erin, asked me to photograph her family this year (with their new brand new addition, Bode), I was ecstatic. I can’t even describe in words how cute her family is. Erin chose Prescott Park in Portsmouth, NH as their spot. When I arrived, there were these gorgeous white flowered draping trees (which I later found out were Japanese flowering crab apple trees). Gorgeous location, happy kids, beautiful family. Yes please.

Their oldest, Liv, is an old soul with a shy smile and a serious gaze. She listened to every word and direction I gave her, as long as I photographed her doing a cartwheel at the end.

Lia, the middle child, is far from the typical “middle child”. Her eyes light up when you talk to her and her cute laugh will make anyone’s heart smile. She found a flower when we got there and didn’t put it down once during the whole session. She also expressed her sincere regret that she didn’t pick me any lilacs from their garden… <3

Their baby boy, Bode was Mr. Smiley and at 8 months old, I couldn’t believe how easily Grandma was able to make him laugh. He was responsive and candid… and I could have brought him home with me.

Seriously, this family couldn’t be any better to have a portrait session with...

What I didn’t tell Erin at the time, was that this was the perfect opportunity to launch and announce my new product – the Video Slideshow. The slideshow is a combination of video from your session, and your finished still images. Watch the full video below:

If you are interested in video with your portrait session, contact me here

Boston Family Photography | Public Garden Portraits

I met Kelsey, Jeff, and and their beautiful baby girl Emily through Kelsey’s sister, Amanda. Amanda contacted me because as Emily’s godmother, she wanted to give Kelsey and Jeff something really special for their Emily’s christening. Amanda took some time to meet with me to go over my process and product options to make sure I’d be a great fit for a family portrait session with her sister’s family.

Kelsey and Jeff live in the South End, met at Boston College, and Jeff proposed to her at the Public Garden, so Boston is clearly a special place to them.

When I met with them, they were so excited for the photo shoot, and we decided to have it along the Charles, and of course the Public Garden, at the site of the proposal.

The bench at the Public Garden where Jeff proposed to Kelsey

The bench at the Public Garden where Jeff proposed to Kelsey

I photograph A LOT of little boys… newborns, toddlers, kids, teens, for some reason my portrait sessions are male dominated. For this reason alone, I was excited to photograph Emily before I even met her. When I met Emily… those EYES! Her gaze was just so stunning, so intense, I fell in love a little.

Kelsey and Jeff were so laid back about everything, they really made the session a lot fun and so easy. No offense to all you dads out there, but I KNOW you’re not always excited for the family portrait session, you don’t hide it well. Jeff was involved, and really easy to photograph. I love the honest moments captured in the shot of him holding Emily’s hands, and of them as a family holding her up. The sincerity of the moments when they can forget the camera are truly some of the best.

Boston Portrait Photography | Romantic Portraits along Back Bay and the Charles

I received an inquiry from Shohreh who wanted to have a portrait session with her husband, Kayhan to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. They will only be in Boston for a few years and really wanted to capture the beauty and history of the city. I was thrilled about this for a lot of reasons, but my top two are:

1.     How many people have a 10 year anniversary portrait session!? Not nearly enough! They are going to look back at this album another 10 years from now and remember every step of this romantic walk in a city they lived in for a few years of their lives.

2.     I am so consumed by constantly searching for locations, that I often easily forget how amazing my Back Bay/South End neighborhood is for a backdrop. I refuse to move for a reason… I am in LOVE with this neighborhood, the brownstones, the winding streets, the uneven brick sidewalk, and especially the different colored doors and walls.

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Shohreh and Kayhan sent me their ideas and clearly explained what they wanted to capture, including closeups, candids, brownstones, cobblestone, nature, city, sun flare, and historical elements. It sounds like a lot to deliver, but knowing what they imagined was amazingly helpful when planning our two mile route through the best parts of Boston’s Back Bay and Beacon Hill.

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We walked down Commonwealth Ave and Marlborough Street (an essential Back Bay brownstone walk), stopping on some doorsteps, then cut through the public garden and through some great side streets in Beacon Hill before landing in Acorn Alley for a few shots.

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At this point the sun was fading, so we headed over to the Charles River and ducked into the cherry blossom trees just in time to capture (my personal favorite) some gorgeous dreamy images of them snuggling together as the sun set behind them. So sweet.

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