Category: Families

Cherry Blossom Motherhood Portraits

Cherry Blossom Motherhood Portraits | Arlington, MA

There’s this little rotary-ish / traffic circle-ish (if you’re local, I’m sure you recognize it!) spot in town that has the most lovely late-blooming cherry trees.  I pass it several times a day on my way to and from my kids’ school and it just makes me super happy to watch it bloom.   Most of the spots on the little piece of grass, it looks like, well, a traffic circle.  Cars and trucks zooming past, random houses and a fire station in your line of sight.  It’s definitely not exactly idyllic.

But for the past few years, I’ve been so lucky to have clients who have trusted me enough to take their portraits there.  This year I was so lucky — three amazing moms asked if I would capture some motherhood portraits for them.  With children ranging in age from in-utero to **cough** thirty-something, we had a FANTASTIC time and the blossoms and families couldn’t have been more beautiful.  We had stunning weather, the youngest mobile child didn’t come even close to running into traffic (😉) and the adult mother/daughter pair were so thrilled to be reunited after more than a year apart (second doses completed just in time for the session!) that tears came to my eyes as I was photographing them.  The above are just a few of my favorites from our time together.

I would love to capture your family’s magic — reach out to get on my calendar!

Cherry Blossom Motherhood Portraits | Arlington, MA

Spring Blossom Portraits | Lexington, MA

Spring Blossom Portraits | Lexington, MA

Spring Blossom Portraits | Lexington, MA

What is my job?  That SHOULD be an easy answer, right?  I’m a photographer; I take photos.  But it’s so much more than that.  I see my job as being SO much more.  I aim to instill confidence in people who don’t necessarily feel confident — in themselves or their bodies.  I aim to give an experience to remember.  One of my oldest son’s teachers recently said to me that sometimes the best learning comes when we don’t even realize we’re studying.  I think the same can be said for family portraits.  In a lot of ways, the best portraits happen when you’re just hanging out with your family having a good time and soaking each other in.  My job is to facilitate that — with prompts and games and helping your figure out the best location for your family, and the best time of day (not just when it comes to lighting, but also when everyone is most likely to be in the best mood).  Without that, it’s just clicking a shutter and understanding the exposure triangle — something anyone could do if they put their mind to it.  Helping people be their true selves is what I see as my main job.

With these folks, we had a couple of weather reschedules, but when we finally got together, the weather was perfect as were the spring blossoms.  Here are a few of my favorites — and if you’re ready to capture your family’s magic, drop me a line!

Spring Blossom Portraits | Lexington, MA

Teen Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Teen Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

What do family portraits look like when kids are no longer tiny?  When they’re… gasp… TEENS? In some ways, not a whole lot changes.  The same goals apply to family portrait sessions with teens as do family sessions with younger children:  we want to capture this stage, and who you all are, both as individuals and as a family unit.  Teen years can be a challenge, but there is still magic there, and it’s worth documenting.  And that’s in “normal” times (whatever that means — I’m more and more convinced there is no such thing, but I digress).  When teens have been stuck at home for a year + during a worldwide pandemic, tensions may be even higher between parents and teens.

It was SUCH a delight to get to photograph these folks.  B, their teenage son, was absolutely adorable and showed no hesitation when it came to snuggling in with mom and dad — as a mom of three (my oldest is 10, so we’re starting to hit the “Mom, leave me ALONE!” years) I can only hope my boys are this willing to snuggle when they’re B’s age.

Some things remain the same also with teen sessions — the most important thing is to schedule for the time of day they are happiest (which is not always inclusive of  “golden hour”) — getting your teen on board is the most important part of the process 🙂

These are a few of my favorites from our time together.  Reach out if you’re ready to capture your family’s magic.

Teen Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

New Home Family Portraits | Westborough, MA

New Home Family Portraits | Westborough, MA

I get a lot of questions about my Monthly Marketing Minis package offering.  The thing that **I** like best about this package?  It’s super flexible.  For a blogger, we can do a shoot for each month’s blog image needs.  For someone like a real estate agent, it’s a great way to both update your own images over the course of the year as well as provide the gift of family portraits to clients who have recently moved to a new home.  One of my real estate clients loves to mix it up, and I love that I get to meet some of their clients and capture their magic in their new space!

These folks recently moved out to Westborough and one of their favorite things about their new home is their large yard — perfect for their three kids and pup to play and explore.  So we focused their session on their favorite parts of the yard.  We had just a short time together, but we still played lots of games and had a lot of fun — the kids were excited to share their own ideas, too, which I always love!  We got to showcase their front door (Mom S said she absolutely fell in love with the door, and wanted to make sure it was in some of the photos) and the lovely lawn the kids can run around on.

Would you like to offer the gift of family memories to your clients?  Drop me a line and we’ll get you all set up!

New Home Family Portraits | Westborough, MA

Spring Family Photographer | Arlington, MA

Spring Family Photographer | Arlington, MA

Oh my goodness.  The last time I saw these folks in October, baby C was a teeny tiny newborn.  She has grown SO much since then, and so has big brother D!  We had an absolutely beautiful day for their family portraits and the middle session of baby C’s First Year Package.  The trees have been leafing out, and signs of spring were everywhere.   To accommodate the kids’ sleep schedules, we didn’t meet at gold hour, but we still found gorgeous light, even several hours after sunrise (we just had to look a little harder).  These folks also brought their pup B, who was an absolute trooper, and VERY popular with all the other dogs who were playing at the park.  

We also had a couple of firsts at this session — one for baby C and one for me!  Big brother D had LOVED swings as a baby, so I suggested at the end of the session that we head to the playground and see what baby C thought of them — she hadn’t tried them out before, but was smitten pretty quickly with the experience.  My first at this session?  My first “real” (as opposed to “air”) high five from a client since becoming fully vaccinated.  I always like to thank kids for being awesome and trying their best during a session, and traditionally I’ve asked for a high-five.  Covid put a damper on that, but D gave me a great one to inaugurate the practice starting up again — I’ve missed this kind of interaction with the kiddos I work with and am glad to get it back.  

 

These are a few of my favorites from our time together.  

 

Spring Family Photographer | Arlington, MA

 

Spring Blossom Family Photos | Winchester, MA

Spring Blossom Family Photos | Winchester, MA

Covid has made this winter even longer than usual.  It was SUCH a delight to get to be out on a lovely (though cloudy) morning with several of the trees around us in full blossom, and I could not have asked for a more adorable family to be working with.  I last had them in front of my lens when their little one was a newborn, and now she’s almost two!  Not only has she grown a ton, but she is REALLY coming into her own as far ay, so s her personality is concerned.  She’s super verbal and we had a great time chatting.  She was absolutely fascinated by the clock tower striking the hour (asking oh so politely as she gazed up at it “please again!”.  She was full of beans, so we played a lot of high energy games during this session and also spent a fair amount of time just following her interests — a child-led session, especially with a child this young is a great way to get authentic connection and expressions, and keep everyone happy throughout the session.  At one point, there was a building she decided was “nice building” and was clearly absolutely fascinated by, so we wandered over there and she was happy as a clam!  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together.  If you’d like to capture your family’s magic in a comfortable and authentic way, drop me a line and we’ll get you on the schedule!

Spring Blossom Family Photos | Winchester, MA

Brookline Covid-Friendly Bat Mitzvah | Brookline, MA

Brookline Covid-Friendly Bat Mitzvah | Brookline, MA

Brookline Covid-Friendly Bat Mitzvah | Brookline, MA

So many milestones don’t stop for anything, including a world-wide pandemic.  It’s been incredibly inspiring to me to see how families are adapting age-old traditions for world locked down to protect the community from COVID.   It’s been my pleasure to get to capture a whole bunch of COVID-friendly celebrations and even a few weddings.

This family reached out to see if I could capture some of their family’s magic as they celebrated their youngest child becoming bat mitzvah.  Such a major milestone.  I know for my own children, I’ve been looking forward to big family celebrations when they reach this milestone.  I loved hearing all about how this family was doing their best to make the day as special as possible, even if it may not be exactly what they had originally envisioned.  With four out of five of their immediate family there in person, and zoom set up for farther-flung loved ones (including the bat mitzvah girl’s big brother) to join in, I know they were doing a fantastic job making it a good day.

Working around the time constraints of the day (even a scaled-down bat mitzvah celebration includes some time constraints, including getting hair done — how AMAZING is this girl’s hair??  I was totally not that cool at 13!).  The family is also in the middle of some backyard renovations, so we had a bit of a limited amount of space.  But we found gorgeous light and got to use the swing set as well — I love being able to show adolescence as that bridge time between childhood and adulthood.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Brookline Covid-Friendly Bat Mitzvah | Brookline, MA

Winter Snowy Family Portraits | Arlington, MA

Winter Snowy Family Portraits | Arlington, MA

Rosy cheeks and cozy snuggles.  One of the last truly frigid winter days, and these folks were excellent sports in braving the weather.  This little guy was NOT interested at first in participating at all.  He’d been well prepared, but the cold and general kid contrariness meant he was just not having it the afternoon of our session.  So I stood back and I watched — I looked for what he was gravitating towards.  How could I make this a fun experience for him?  I pulled out some of my usual games and pushed them to 11 — what might normally be a walking prompt became a running one, and so on.  Soon we were in business again with real smiles and some genuine joy.  We played some games, we climbed a tree, and generally had a good time despite the “wind and weather.”  As we head into spring, drop me a line if your family would like to capture your magic in slightly warmer surroundings 😉 Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

Winter Snowy Family Portraits | Arlington, MA

Ready to capture your family’s magic?  Let’s chat about how we can best show your love in photos any time of year.

Boston Photographer | 2020: A Year in Portraits

Boston Photographer | 2020: A Year in Portraits

Boston Photographer | 2020: A Year in Portraits

What a roller coaster this year has been.  I know each year sometimes feels even more hectic and full than the last, but 2020 has definitely taken the cake for so many of us — remote schooling, not seeing our loved ones, loved ones becoming ill, losses on both business and personal fronts, isolation, cancelled milestone celebrations.  2020 has been ROUGH for so many of us.

So it has been a special honor to get to photograph the people I’ve photographed this year — marking moments in a historic year, taking that leap into entrepreneurship, up-leveling their business imagery to help support their family during an incredibly trying time, welcoming a new baby with all the usual stress and then pandemic added on top, making the effort to send out family photo cards in a reach for connection at a time when that is an extra challenge.

As a Boston Photographer, I get to enjoy all the seasons with my clients — cozy winters, glorious summers, crisp falls, and spring full of hope.  As we head into 2021, I’m so excited to see what the new year brings, and to share it with all of you.  I’ve expanded my offerings so you can experience all the seasons with me if you’d like — seasonal family portraits and monthly marketing minis are new on the menu.

Thank you all for all of your support, and I’m looking forward to seeing you in 2021!

PS — there’s still one more day of voting for my photo of the year contest over on my Facebook page — check it out and vote for your favorites!

 

Boston Photographer | 2020: A Year in Portraits

Backyard Family Photos | Newton, MA

Backyard Family Photos | Newton, MA

Backyard Family Photos | Newton, MA

Each year, I have a limited number of sessions that I designate to donate to non-profits to auction off to raise money for their cause.  This year, I was asked by the Nashoba Learning Group, whose live auction I had the privilege of photographing last year, to donate.  When I photograph events, I love learning about the work of the company or organization I’m working with — I think of it as a fun perk of the job.  I was so impressed with what I learned last year about Nashoba Learning Group, so when they asked this year if I could donate a session to their virtual auction, I was happy to provide a donation.

Nashoba Learning Group’s mission is to enable children and adults with autism to function with the greatest possible productivity and independence in the community, home, and workplace throughout their lives.

These folks won the session in the NLG auction and it was such a delight to work with them!  We met up at their house for their session.  As a mom of three myself, I loved seeing how sweet these four kiddos were with each other. Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

Backyard Family Photos | Newton, MA

Chilly But Fun Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Chilly But Fun Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

I have been one lucky photographer to be photographing these folks for the past four years.   As 2020 as been a year unlike any other, there has been some comfort for us all, I think, in the traditions we’ve been able to carry on from “the before times.”  I **LOVE** getting to catch up with families year after year, and getting to see how the kids have grown and what they’re into.  This year, I got to hear all about Harry Potter (the first two books — he’s waiting until his next birthday for the 3rd, savoring each one on its own) from big kid A.  As you can see if you scroll down, as he warmed up and was willing to take off his coat, the world of Harry Potter was well-represented by the sweater he was wearing 🙂

It was CHILLY when I saw these folks, and though the forecast just called for clouds, we were treated to a very brief bit of HAIL (which was fun with the kids — sadly, it all melted too fast to photograph).  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

Chilly But Fun Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Lexington Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Lexington Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Last year it was my privilege to photograph these lovely folks (though we dodged thunderclouds that time, as you can read on the linked post!) and this time, yet again, the chance of rain was set at zero — we managed to skate by (the rain didn’t start until a few minutes after this session ended, thank goodness!) but we all got a bit of a laugh at once again racing the rain drops (especially given that we’re still in a drought!).

It was such a joy to see how these kiddos have grown up over the past year — not just physically, but also emotionally.  Seeing these three siblings and their care for each other was incredibly touching (especially as a mom of three myself — these are the moments I *live* for with my own kids).  At one point, one them was a little reluctant, not quite feeling the prompt I had given (which, for the record, is always COMPLETELY FINE WITH ME!  If someone isn’t feeling it, I’m happy to pivot!).  But this time, I didn’t need to pivot.  I looked up and saw his siblings ever so gently and kindly encouraging him to join them.  And by the time they were off and running (ok, pun intended — it was a running prompt) the reluctant sibling was charging ahead leading the way with a big grin.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Lexington Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Treehouse Portraits | Cambridge, MA

Treehouse Portraits | Cambridge, MA

Treehouse Portraits | Cambridge, MA

Oh. My. Goodness.  I’ve been watching these kiddos explore and adventure for years (full disclosure — we’re neighbors!) so when mom M. reached out to me about a portrait session and asked if we could do it at the park where the kids have been building a treehouse with their classmates (as everyone is spending extra time outside due to the pandemic, but their school has always been creative like this!) I was SUPER excited.  And this treehouse was even more amazing than I dared dream!  A cloudy day in late fall didn’t dampen their enthusiasm for showing off all their favorite spots and features, and I *loved* seeing it.  They were already highly engaged in play at the treehouse when I arrived, so that was where we started, but after a while we also got to explore some other gorgeous spots nearby.  With super active kids, I make sure to have a super active session — play to their strengths!  And we also had some lovely time for just free play, which often results in some of my favorite images (as it did this time!).  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together — and if your family has a special spot you’d love to do your family portraits in, I’d love to hear about it!

Treehouse Portraits | Cambridge, MA

Frigid Fun Fall Portraits | Arlington, MA

Frigid Fun Fall Portraits | Arlington, MA

The weather this fall has been all over the place — snow, then in the 70’s, then back to seasonal temperatures, then a blast of frigid air, the back to seasonal again!  New England weather is always a bit of a wild ride, and can be hard to predict when booking a ways out (that’s why I always leave space in case of emergency rescheduling needs in my schedule — nothing like a sudden rain storm!). This week we had quite the arctic blast of air in the middle of the week.  I was supposed to meet up with these fine folks on the coldest day of them all — the high was around 30 degrees, but with windchill, it was feeling closer to the upper teens/low 20’s!   They could have asked to reschedule, but decided to go ahead as planned.  These kiddos were PHENOMENALLY good sports — we took warming breaks, and I kept them moving as much as possible so they wouldn’t get too cold — jumping, running, and then snuggling together to stay warm and cozy.    Their smiles certainly warmed my heart, and they were so sweet (my own children when they’re cold… well, let’s not go there 😉 ).  If you think your family might be up for a winter portrait session, when New England has a beauty all its own, drop me a line — I’d love to get you on the calendar.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Frigid Fun Fall Portraits | Arlington, MA

Child-Led Family Photography | Lexington, MA

Child-Led Family Photography | Lexington, MA

Child-Led Family Photography | Lexington, MA

It’s one of the most frequent messages I get:

“I’d love to schedule family photos, but my kids never cooperate. How do you work with young children?”

I absolutely love working with kids, and a large part of that is that I understand that kids are, well, KIDS.  They have limited attention span, and for the most part, don’t really value the photos we create together while we create them (I believe strongly that they will come to value them over time, when they’re older, but realistically, how many first graders actually care about doing family photos?  Hardly any).  So, in order to create those images that will bring them back to a time and place, a time of love and happiness, it’s my job to create an environment where they can truly have fun and have a good experience while we create those images.  We do very little of the “stand here, pose here” stuff, and a lot of games and fun — jokes, ACTIVE play, and do my best to make it so fun they forget I’m there with my camera.  I want to capture who they really are at this stage in all their silliness and goofiness, and sweetness.  Here are a few of my favorites from my time with these folks this past weekend:

Child-Led Family Photography | Lexington, MA

Woodland Family Portraits | Medford, MA

Woodland Family Portraits | Medford, MA

It had been two (plus!) years since I’d last had these folks in front of my camera.  Last time I got to photograph these folks it was the height of summer.  This time around had a different feel entirely with glorious autumn foliage.  The kids had gotten so much bigger, too!  Daughter I. is now taller than I am, and son M. has also grown so much.  The night before their session, I got a cool new photography toy they were kind enough to let me play with for a short bit of their session — some prisms I had stress-purchased while waiting for election results.  You can see some examples in the individual shots of I. below — they were super fun to play with, and I’m excited to get to incorporate them into some of my sessions moving forward.  We had so much fun playing games and seeing what these woodlands had to offer in terms of exploration and adventures.  We climbed on rocks and trekked up the path to see what we could see, we played with fallen leaves and with the LEGO guy that M had brought with him.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Woodland Family Portraits | Medford, MA

Senior & Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Senior & Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Senior & Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

These twin girls are graduating this year.  It’s a totally bizarre year to be finishing up your K-12 education, with a pandemic raging and school from home or split between home and school in some sort of hybrid.  These girls had such a lovely attitude about it all, though — an attitude I know will serve them well as they head out into the big world.  One of the normal things about this year, despite everything mentioned above, is that they still needed senior photos for their yearbooks.  They decided they wanted to split a session — with each other, but also saving time for some family photos with their parents along the way (did I mention that these two were really awesome kids?).  We spent some of the session focusing on each of them individually, some time focusing on them as sisters, and some time with the whole crew.  It was such a fun morning, and we lucked out with a beautiful day — warm and sunny, and with fantastic foliage — no matter where they go in life, they can look back on these and remember a warm Autumn day in New England!  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

Senior & Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

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Lexington Photographer | Fall Family Photos

Lexington Photographer | Fall Family Photos

Lexington Photographer | Fall Family Photos

Oh my goodness, we could not have asked for a better day to capture these wonderful folks — warm and sunny (after a previous reschedule due to rain the week before) — we had amazing foliage too!  Dad was running a little late, so we started out with mom and the kids, and then circled back around to do shots with dad as well when he arrived — one of the fun things about doing it this way was that the kids LOVED getting to be the experts — they knew the drill by that point and knew where we were going.  They took so much delight in showing their dad around and telling him what they wanted to do (and he was a good sport 🙂 ).   We had a lot of fun horsing around and exploring the space, too — with a child-led session, they ultimately call the shots (these guys loved the games I suggested, and suggested a few of their own, too, which was absolutely wonderful).  It was hard to narrow down some highlights — here are a few of my favorites from our time together.  We’ve got the gamut — from the more posed to the lovely wild and free <3

Lexington Photographer | Fall Family Photos

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Modern Blended Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Modern Blended Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Modern Blended Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

What a treat this double family portrait / headshot session was last weekend!  Mom reached out because as she put it, she had ZERO photos of her with her son.  She also needed new headshots for work, so we booked the two sessions back-t0-back to have enough time for both (in reality, we interspersed the headshots with the family shots so we weren’t running in circles from spot to spot).  For the second half of the family session, this little guy’s half sister and her half brother joined us as well for some “modern blended family” shots as Mom put it 🙂

We had perfect weather, gorgeous light, and had SO much fun playing games and just exploring the space — with child-led portrait sessions I feel like we can bring out the JOY.  This little guy is in 1st grade, and it’s such a fantastic age — they have such fun ideas and energy beyond belief, and can still have those super snuggly moments where you can remember they’re still so small.  It was hard to narrow down highlights from this session, as you can see — here are a few of my favorites, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to schedule portraits for your own family on my calendar!

Modern Blended Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Park Fall Family Portraits | Somerville, MA

Park Fall Family Portraits | Somerville, MA

Park Fall Family Portraits | Somerville, MA

Oh man, weather can be super unpredictable here in New England — two days before this session, we had gotten four inches of snow as an October Surprise.  We had originally planned for this family’s session to be in the backyard of their new house, but the remains of the snowstorm were making the yard look a little scraggly (as often happens!) so we pivoted — heading instead to a lovely park nearby.  This park had everything you might want — lovely paths, cool sculptures, and a playground!  I often get asked what I do about locations with playgrounds — parents are often concerned that their kids will be so distracted by a playground they won’t cooperate for any other photos.  As a mom of three HIGHLY distractible (and not so fond of being photographed) children, I totally get this concern.  That’s why I often steer clear of locations that require walking past a playground right off the bat — it’s often a recipe for not so cooperative children.  BUT, I absolutely LOVE locations where we can end the session at a playground — when the kids are tired of my games, we just set them loose and capture some candids of them playing freely.  With these folks, we were racing some rain clouds, but had a lovely time — here are some of my favorites from our time together.

Park Fall Family Portraits | Somerville, MA  | Book Now

Snowy Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Snowy Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Snowy Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

I first met these folks when I photographed the auction last year for the Nashoba Learning Group — a phenomenal organization making such a big difference in the lives of kids with autism and their families.  So I was so thrilled when J reached out to ask if I would photograph her family this fall.  While a late October session might be expected to have some foliage (it’s past peak, but not a ton past it), we got a major treat instead — October Surprise SNOW!  I don’t know about you, but I love snow.  I love playing in it, I love shoveling it (yes, really — even winter of 2015 couldn’t dampen my enthusiasm), and most of all, I absolutely LOVE photographing people in it.  It lends a magical quality to the light in a portrait and just makes everything feel extra special.  These folks were real troopers given that it was pretty chilly out (hence, of course the snow!) and their side yard proved to be the perfect winter wonderland setting.  Since we were at their home, there was even time for a quick wardrobe change 🙂  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together:

 

Snowy Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Covid & Newborn Portraits | Malden, MA

Covid & Newborn Portraits | Malden, MA

Covid & Newborn Portraits | Malden, MA

What does it look like to have an in-home newborn session in the age of Covid-19?  In many ways, it looks very similar to what pre-covid newborn sessions looked like — just with a few key extra precautions.  Some things are the same as always — all my wraps and baskets are washed and wiped down after every session, and I always wash my hands and use hand sanitizer when I first walk in the door.  These are things I’ve been doing since my very first newborn session, almost six years ago.  In addition, before I even walk in the door — I get a Covid test the day before your newborn session, and go through a screening process (checking temperature and symptoms) before I head out the door to photograph your family.  I now also put disposable booties on my feet so I’m not tracking anything you don’t want through the house, and I have gloves I can wear if you’re more comfortable with that than bare sanitized hands.  I also bring an air purifier we can plug in to help clean the air we work together.  Most importantly of all, I will ALWAYS have my mask on.  Your family’s safety is my highest priority.

What is the same about a newborn session in the middle of a pandemic?  I still capture those family moments and all the details of your new little one with the same care and fun as always.  If big siblings are around, I make sure they feel included and super special during what is a major transition for them.  I still make sure this amazing little person you’ve just brought home is captured in all their adorable-ness so you can remember for years to come when sleep deprivation may cloud some of your memory 🙂

Here’s a recent in-home newborn session I had the pleasure of capturing:

 

 

Covid & Newborn Portraits | Malden, MA

Teen Fall Foliage Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Teen Fall Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Teen Fall Foliage Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

When I last saw these folks, they had just moved to the area — it’s hard to believe it’s already been two years!  These boys had sprouted like weeds in the intervening time — J1 was already taller than me last time, but now he’s been joined by his younger brother in that 😉

We had a beautiful evening in Lexington with fantastic foliage — a little overcast, but if anything that made the foliage pop even more.  With a lovely field, fence, and stone walls, we had a gorgeous backdrop, and had lots of fun.

Family photos with teens are a little different than family photos with younger kids, but riffs on the same themes often still work well.  We also made sure to make time for mom and dad to have some shots that are just the two of them — even in the middle of a pandemic, I know life with teens is so busy, it can be hard to take a moment just for yourselves, and that so many parents take so many pictures of their kids, but don’t get in them themselves — so that’s always a focus for me.  Here are a few of my favorites.

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Teen Fall Foliage Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

 

Fun Fall Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fun Fall Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Fun Fall Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Our wedding portraits are so old and faded now — I really need some updates family shots and photos of the kids to put up in their place when I take them down.

This family booked because their school is not doing school photos this year, and they wanted to have updated pictures for relatives of their children.  We had wonderful light the other day for this family’s session — and so much fun together!  Running races, jumping, and finally, when the session was over, somersaults in the meadow grass.  Snuggling in and climbing — this session had a little bit of everything.  I love how fun family portrait sessions can be.  We also had just about peak foliage, which was totally gorgeous.

Did you know that I’m offering a bunch of new portrait packages now?  One of my favorites is the Seasonal Family Portraits program so you can capture each season in its glory.  If that sounds like something you would love to do, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email and we can get you all signed up.  These are just a few of my favorites from this session:

 

Fun Fall Family Portraits | Lexington, MA

Mother Daughter Headshots | Arlington, MA

Mother Daughter Headshots | Arlington, MA

Mother Daughter Headshots | Arlington, MA

It’s a pandemic and you need a new headshot.  And then it turns out your child’s school isn’t doing school photos because of the pandemic — this mother-daughter duo decided to book a double headshot session so they could solve both in one fell swoop!   We had an absolutely beautiful early evening in Arlington and had a lovely time combining the playfulness of a child-focused session with a headshot session (I’m telling you — nothing gets better smiles from a mom for her headshots than having her kiddo goofing off right next to me 🙂 ).

One of my absolute favorite moments was when I was photographing this mom, and her daughter decided to draw her mother with a stick in the dirt path (see below — I promised her a picture of her drawing would be in the final gallery).  We went to a spot I go to often for headshots, but less often with families, and it was wonderful to see it through a child’s eyes with the magic of the fallen leaves, and the SUPER tall reeds (“these plants are taller than YOU!”) to some thin sticks that became a magic sword.  Here are a few of my favorites from our time together, and if you find yourself in need of a new headshot, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Mother Daughter Headshots | Arlington, MA

Tween Fall Family Photos | Action, MA

Tween Fall Family Photos | Acton, MA

Tween Fall Family Photos | Acton, MA

“These are our first professional photos in about 20 years!”

I was honored to be chosen to capture this lovely family.  We went to one of their favorite spots, and just explored until we found spots that felt right.  We had a perfect, mild fall day, with lovely foliage.  We played some games, we chatted, and just generally had a lovely time.  One of the things I like about working with so many kids of so many different ages is how some of the same games and prompts end up feeling so different with a toddler or a tween.  I love that no two sessions are really exactly alike — each family take a prompt or game and makes it into their own.  When I delivered this gallery, I got the following response:

“They’re gorgeous!  I know what the grandmothers are getting for Christmas.” – K. M.

Aside from being glad that they liked these, I was so happy that this also took something off my client’s plate — what to get the grandmothers for Christmas.  Especially in a year where we can’t gather as we might normally like to, giving the gift of portraits is a great way to be present, and to give something truly of yourself.  There is still time and a few openings in November, if you’d like to do the same with your family — drop me a line and we’ll get you on the schedule!

Tween Fall Family Photos | Acton, MA

Fall Portrait Photography | Lexington, MA

Fall Portrait Photography | Lexington, MA

For families with members far-flung all over the country, this pandemic has been particularly challenging.  How do you know when it’s safe to visit?  How do you travel?  Do you just go an entire year without seeing those who are dearest to you?  These folks traveled from St. Louis, MO to see their daughter who lives in the Boston area — assuming the recent lull in cases may be their only chance to see her for quite a long time to come.  They were excited to introduce their daughter to their new furry family member, Louie, a 7 month old puppy, and were hoping to time it right for foliage.  Foliage can be a little unpredictable, depending on the weather of the year and a whole host of factors, but these folks definitely nailed their timing — I think we’re just about at peak foliage this week.

We had so much fun playing around with the leaves and the puppy and I even got to see a circus trick performed 🙂 As these folks head back to St. Louis soon, I hope these photos can be a tangible link across the miles, helping to keep them connected through this difficult time.

 

 

Fall Portrait Photography | Lexington, MA

Reach out to schedule your session today.

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