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What Is The Best Thing You Can Hand Down To Your Kids?

FAMILY ALBUMS! It’s no secret I LOVE albums. I love all forms of printed photos, but I really really love albums. Admittedly, I am a book person. I was resistant to my (now beloved) Kindle, it’s just so convenient, but I still can’t wait to get my hands on a good book I can turn the pages of.

Do you remember those big, sticky page photo albums our parents had? Yes they are clunky as heck, but there is something special about flipping through the curated pages and seeing the story of Christmas, or someone’s birthday. Much more special than flipping through a hard drive.

Today, more than ever before, it’s so easy to take snapshot…after snapshot…after snapshot, until you end up with a million photos on your phone (that is hopefully also backed up to a hard drive). Having our photos digitally is super important, but having the special ones curated and printed in a beautiful, (archival) leatherbound album that you can hand down to your kids, and their grandkids, is an incredible gift.

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Images boxes (shown below) are another fun “album style” way to print, display, and archive your photos too!

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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 | 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 | 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 Family Portrait Photographer | All the way from Japan

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There is something magical for a little girl about a big tulle skirt. Mom and Dad surprised their two daughters with fluffy cream colored dresses at our shoot at the Lyman Estate in Waltham. Hana was so excited by her puffball of a dress that before we even started the photoshoot she was twirling and laughing with delight in the parking lot.

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And of course, Hana outfit's was not complete without a flower crown! Kana is a bit too little for a flower crown, but one day soon, she'll rock one like her big sister. This was a special photoshoot for Mom, Dad, and their little ones, as they will be wrapping up their time in the United States and will soon be going back to Japan.

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And we had the perfect day to celebrate their time here with crisp blue skies and bright fall leaves to play in. One of my favorite shots is of the whole family sitting together on the porch. Hana was being silly and was swinging around the columns, until she'd run towards Mom and Dad and give them a big bear hug. Kana was cozy with Mom watching all of this ensue until she turned to the camera right at the perfect moment!

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We are so glad we could capture these fall memories for them to look back on their time in Boston. I wouldn't be opposed to heading out to Japan for their next shoot though!

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Boston Portrait Photographer | The Hodgmans 3 with 1 more on the way!

 It's really too bad kids have no fun at our sessions

We’d normally say, “say hello” to little Naomi, but she prefers saying “bye”. One year is such a great age and we love hearing the random sayings they find to be special. In this case, Naomi loves saying bye to people, even when she’s just meeting you! With their home situated near Bulloughs Pond in Newton, we met Nicole, her husband Josh, and their daughter Naomi on a breezy yet sunny November day.

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Originally from Chicago, Nicole and Josh lived in the South End of Boston until recently moving out to Newton. They knew they had to move to a home with more space as they are expecting baby number 2 in March! At the beginning of the shoot, Nicole and Josh claimed that they were not photogenic which could not be further from the truth.

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Piled on to the bed, the family cuddled close for some very sweet photos. We soon made our way outside to test out Naomi’s new kicks: purple air jordans. Yes. purple. Air jordans. On a one year old. Incredible.

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We soon broke out the bubbles and Naomi was so intent on catching them. She wanted to chase after them so badly, and we got some truly precious photos out of it. We sang the baby shark song, threw leaves in the air, and had an overall fantastic time enjoying the last bits of fall.

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Boston Family Portrait Photographer | Rogers Family at Smolak Farms

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Here's a big welcome to the Rogers Family! Lisa had won a gift certificate that we had donated to Temple Emmanuel's annual fundraiser. Her extended family came together at Smolak Farms in North Andover to have a photoshoot with 3 generations of family members. We settled down in the antique apple orchard.

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Lisa's family went first and her three boys and husband all snuggled in together. To get a good laugh out of the boys, we started making noises which no child under the age of 8 can resist. 

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It was then their cousin's Emmett's turn with his Dad. He loves giving bear hugs especially to Dad. We soon rounded up all four boys for a cousin's picture. Brody, Lisa's youngest, is very serious for such a young age, but one thing that enthralls us all, including Brody, is our iPhones.

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We got quite a few variations of Lisa's husband jumping out from behind an apple tree to grab the phone out of the shot so Brody would give us a smile, and the results were hilarious. The boys were excited at the prospect of picking apples and each found their favorite. (Notice the adult male legs sticking out from behind one of the apple trees.

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Each chose a different one, finding big, small, green, and red apples. They showed us their finds for some pictures with their grandparents. However, it was too tempting to just hold their apples, and one by one each took a big bite out of their find.

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By the end of the session, we always like to let the kids run around a burn off some steam. Giggles ensued as we chased them (or I should say they chased us!). 

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 Family Portrait Photographer | The Brooks Family

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Did you know some of the best portrait sessions happen on rainy days? The Brooks Family did not let the soggy weather dampen their mood. If anything, it was the perfect excuse to act a little silly and puddle jump! When we asked them if they would be up for playing in the rain, without hesitation they said yes

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If anyone has any questions about Sonic the Hedgehog, these cuties are the experts. The boys are avid Sonic fans, and their faces absolutely lit up as they taught us about all their favorite characters. They could not resist running around their home as fast as Sonic can, which of course ended on the couch in a pile of giggles.

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Mom and Dad got in on the fun too. Mom stood up and sat on the table, and soon the whole family piled on. We love spontaneous shots like this, because they are often they bring the most genuine smiles.

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Pets are always welcome on our photoshoots, as a pet is a family member after all! We loved that Sneakers the Dog got in on a few shots too.

Also, nothing makes me happier than when mom and dad are able to get in a little of their own snuggle time. Usually when we ask the question "When was the last photo you had together?" the response is "our wedding day!" So yes, we like to give mom and dad a few snuggly moments on their own, afterall, this is where it all started. It was particularly sweet to see the way these two make each other laugh without even directing them, so much love.

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Boston Family Portrait Photographer | Baby Henry

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Welcome Henry! This little guy was a over a week old when we met him at his family home in Danvers. The life of a newborn is tough; lots of sleeping, eating, and posing for the camera. But thankfully, he has two big brothers to help him out.

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These cuties are full of energy. Getting three little ones to look at the camera and smile can take some trial and error, but I loved capturing the spontaneous and loving moments this family has together.

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From running around playing make believe to dancing along with their favorite toys, they always had time to give a gentle kiss on Henry’s forehead. I absolutely melted when Sully kept on telling me how much he loved his new brother. Mom and Dad are going to have their hands full with these lively boys, but this little family has grown bigger in both numbers and love!

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Boston Family Portrait Photographer | I Love My Clients!!!

I love love love when I get to photograph families every year. Being able to see and capture kids' personalities as they grow and develop is part of why I love what I do! And giving those moments to my clients to hold on forever to is the best. THE BEST. 

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The Rainens are 3 of my favorite people. I met Kim at a coffee shop at an Andover networking event over a year ago. She said her husband David needed a headshot, so we exchanged info, and I took David's photo a few weeks later. That turned into Kim needing a headshot as well, which turned into family portraits of course! Avi was 8 months old at the time, the perfect age to document him starting to stand and take his first few steps.

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Then we photographed his milestone first birthday with a cake smash (which by the way he wanted nothing to do with the actual smashing of the cake). Kim planned his birthday using bright bold primary colors, so we kept with that theme, and I loved how they turned out.

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This year, I got to photograph Avi again for his 2nd birthday. I couldn't believe how he had grown into such a little boy. He loves tractors, trains, and BATMAN. When Kim and I were planning for his session, we knew we had to incorporate all of this into his session. When choosing a location, it only made sense to shoot at Smolak Farms, where his birthday party would be. I love Smolak for its versatility - apple orchards, tractors, open fields, and of course, animals.

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The second best thing about my job is when I show clients their images. ::All the feels:: when I get to see their face light up (or even tear up) when seeing their video of these beautiful (and sometimes silly) moments that we captured together. Nothing is better than family.

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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 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.