Giovanni {12 days new} – Newborn Photography, Richmond, VA

This little guy came to me by way of referral from the wonderful young woman who used to watch my own children almost a decade ago.  Oh how I am reminded how time passe!!  And oh what a joy to meet this family.

 

This little guy was so cooperative.   When he cried, he gave it all he had, but it never took long for him to settle back to his sweet self.

Giovanni’s parents met in Italy and moved back to the Unites States.  I feel like there are going to be many great stories and world adventures in his future.

Love this blue blanket, from an Aunt Cathy, I believe.  I keep eyeing soft fluffies in this color but now that I have seen how stunning it looks on sweet Giovanni, I must have one.  This blanket was beautiful!

Such a lovely family.  So much love.  Welcome to the world Giovanni!

Fall Mini Sessions!! – Family Photography, Richmond, VA

Little Love’s next Mini’s will be  Fall Mini Sessions, perfectly timed to captured this autumn’s beautiful colors.

These Mini’s will be Saturday October 29th (10:00am – 12:00pm) at Crump Park at Meadow Farm (Glen Allen) and Sunday November 6th (12:00 – 4:00pm) at Forest Hill Park. Call or message me now to book your mini-session time.  Availability is limited!

The Fall Mini’s are $70 each and include a 20 minute session and six high resolution, professionally edited images. Mini’s require a $35 deposit to secure your spot, payable by check.  In case of rain, sessions will be rescheduled.

Mini Sessions book up very quickly. Don’t delay, contact me today to book your Fall mini time!

Wyatt {1 Year} – Children’s Photography, Richmond, VA

 

Oh this guy!  He is such a curious little cutie!  And he has turned ONE!  Oh goodness, where does the time go!  At one year, he has his little legs in full effect and he was all over the place.   We had a great game of chase at the park.   The hat and plaid…. love!

 

Wyatt has such a sweetness to him.  I am so thankful I have been able to share this first year with him.  Happy Birthday Wyatt!!!

 

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Eight Ways to Take Awesome Halloween Photos of your Kids

(without making it harder than it has to be)

I love dressing my kids up.   Halloween, book character days, birthday parties, fun runs, play dates – I embrace them all.  A good excuse to wear matching shirts – I am in.  What better day to rock a costume? Halloween of course!  And there is no better to remember that moment than a picture!

As a photographer, I believe in the perfect picture – especially for all of you!  But as a mom, I appreciate the great picture.   The one that lets me still be part of the fun, the one that doesn’t stress me out because I am worrying about camera gear and settings, the ones that I can take on the fly, the ones that can happen when I grab my cell phone out of my pocket.  Let’s be honest, Halloween is hard enough for us moms (and Dads), no need to over-complicate it!  So I am going to share those tips with you – keep it simple, you can even use your iPhone.  Have a DSLR and want to get a little bit more fancy?   I will throw those tips in there too!

1 – Do It Early…  

…and get the right light! This is perhaps the simplest tip and yet hardest to follow.  Don’t wait till it’s dark.  I know, if you are like me, you will spend every moment up until the one you walk out the door finding masks, shoes, glow-sticks and snacks.  Try taking the picture first – then let them run in the yard while you gather your wears.

Dusk is a beautiful time.  Soft light gives you that Halloween feel without needing the flash.  The flash is not your friend here.  Look for alternative light sources – a street lamp, a glowing pumpkin, your neighbor’s crazy blowup Halloween décor, the back lighting of someone’s open front door.   If you do find you need a flash, try diffusing it.  My favorite when my kids were young – a baby sock over the flash.   Most good cell phones have shockingly good low light compensation these days.  But that comes with a much slower shutter speed so kids holding still will help.

Have a DSLR – raise your ISO to 800, 1000, 1250 or even higher.   This will give you more light but also grainier images, depending on your camera.  Slow down your shutter speed to 40, 50 or 60.  You can go lower if your subject is still and you have a tripod.  Slower stutter speed will also give you more light but will also make action blurrier.  Last, use your lens with the widest angle.  A f/2.8 work wonders.

2 – Work Your Angles.

Try a few different ones.  I think high angles, when they are looking up at you has a way of making kids look unbearably sweet (perhaps it’s because it’s how we see them most).  But getting on their level will give you the best effect of their costumes.  And then get low.  In other words – try them all.

3 – Look Out Behind You!

Sometimes the perfect background is in your reach and sometimes it’s just not.  Got a few hours that week?   Take your kid’s somewhere with a background that matches their costume.  Taking my kids to this vintage firetruck a few years ago is among my favorite Halloween pictures.  Don’t have that kind of time?  Find a background that fits the moment – a tree with blazing fall color, your perfectly set, pumpkin covered porch or perhaps in a street filled with fellow tricker-treaters.  Perhaps consider taking their picture in the same place each year.  Avoid backgrounds that don’t add to the moment – the trash cans next to your garage, Cousin Lucy picking her nose, cars driving by, etc.

4 -Lights, Camera,  Action!

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If the costume merits a role playing moment – yeah, just do that.  Try this in the lighter hours as action will be blurry in low light photography.

 5 –Sweat the small stuff.


Particularly if you are crafty, Pintresty, love to decorate, made those costumes or got down with some crazy face paint (that’s on my list for the first this Halloween).  Photograph the details.  Get close.  Pick the little things that make the moment – pumpkins, costumes yet to be put on, piles of candy.

6 – Get in the Picture!

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Yes, that means you.  As a mom and family photographer, I am never in them.  Never (ok, well there is this one…. yup, that me with the mask and yellow hairpiece).  Get in there – just for one.  Whether you are dressed up or not.  This is all part of your family history and someday it will be appreciated.

7 – What’s Hiding Behind that Mask?  

Masks on, masks off.  Kids in masks are cute (super cute) or perhaps scary if they are older.  But someday it will be the precious joy on their face you will want to see.  Take the picture both ways!

 8 – Closer…. Closer….

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Resist the urge to stand back from the action and throw your camera (or phone) in the direction of your kids and press the button.  It just does not work.   For just a few minutes of your evening, get in there.  Run ahead of the pack so they are strolling towards you, sit on the ground near them, and get right over their heads.

Hope you have enjoyed these moments from my families’ Halloween past.  Honestly, I have motivated myself to do a bit better this year.  This year I feel fortunate my kids picked costumes I could make (I love making costumes), so they will have to be well documented. And my kid’s are getting older (eek) so these days are fleeting.  Look forward to sharing them with you!

Happy Halloween Y’all!

PS – Here is a handy cheat sheet – copy this image to your phone and carry it with you!

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Finley {2 years} – Children’s Photography, Richmond, VA

Oh my goodness, the pink, fluffy, tulle coated wonder of it all.  Finley turned two and this girl did it in style.

We had a beautiful morning down at Forest Hill Park, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots (as long as we avoid the Farmer’s Market).  It was warm and quiet and had perfect light.

And she bought her MINGOS!  I have never done a photo session with Flamingos but she quite insisted on it.  So much ‘mingo love!  I somehow start to wonder if all my sessions should include Flamingos.

And keeping with the pink bird theme, oh this pink peacock dress…. and those curls.   It’s a long hill back up from Forest Hill park but she kept her spirits all the way.  Even dropping a few sweet smiles along the way.

It has been a joy to watch Finley (and her sister) grow these past few years.  Just getting cuter by the moment.

JDRF Mini Sessions – Mini-Sessions, Richmond, VA

Wow!  It’s all I can say every time I think about how awesome these sessions went.  It was no surprise that the two day were way warmer than expected, seems par fro the course this summer.  But the joy of meeting with 14 families was overwhelming.  Some new families, some old friends, pregnant moms who came back with new babies.  What a joy!

And perhaps the best part is that we raised over $900 for the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).  Since our son;s diagnosis with Type 2 Diabetes in 2012, this organization has been near and dear to our hearts.  Type 1 diabetes has no known cause and no cure.  It is not caused by poor diet or lack of excercise.  Each year 30,000 children and adults are diagnosed with Type 1 and our family has vowed to join the fight until a cure is found.  In the last four years, our family team, Trey’s Avengers,  has raised over $50,000.  In part thanks to those who join us each year for our JDRF minis!

New mini session announcements are coming soon.  Fall is here (finally) and those beautiful autumn colors are coming!

In no particular orders, the amazing fourteen families that joined us last month….

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Barbara and Sebastian’s family have become friends over the years.  They are such a beautiful family.  Their mom chose an early slot for morning light – they were graciously rewarded!  {Midlo-Mines}

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Much of my business comes from referrals and this family is no exception.  This was my first time meeting Weston & Evie, who came by way of a fellow Type 1 mamma.  And I am so glad they did because these kid’s were a joy. {Midlo-Mines}

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Last Spring this family came to the Little Loves’ minis with a baby in the mamma belly.  Well little Caroline has joined us with big sister Claire.  They are so cute together.  Such beauties! {Midlo-Mines}

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These two are Claire & Caroline’s cousins.  Yes, cuteness runs deep with this family.  Their mamma was also pregnant last Spring, so yes, another baby.   And what?!?  That baby James came with a vintage crate and a beautiful quilt.  Seriously?  Pintrest just exploded.  I think Kaylee is just as pleased as I am with this turn of events  {Midlo-Mines}

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Oh Olivia!  I mean really, look at this cuteness.  She has so much adorable personality, I was delighted to see her and her family back for our mini sessions! {Midlo-Mines}

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Sweet Kelina – she has been coming to me since she was a newborn and she is now four.  What…. four {ok, I feel old}!  But after years of hiding her smiles, she brought the joy on full force.    Love these! {Midlo-Mines}

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Rowan first came to me for a newborn session earlier this year.  And you cant’t tell in these pictures but he has quite a serious streak.  The most adorable kind of seriuos.  He has grown so much, so glad to see this family again.  {Midlo-Mines}

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Love this family!  They send so many of their friend’s to my mini’s and I am so appreciative.  And these two girls – I cannot explain how much they make me laugh.  Lucia & Allie, it is always great to see you! {Midlo-Mines}

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Lionel!  This kid here personifies big personality in a little package.  All smiles and laughs with this guy.  He could not be cuter and I am pretty sure he knows it.

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That mom stood in that doorway in the Spring with that sweet child in her belly.  Love that it happened again and I will admit it was a bit serendipitous.  So great to see Levi and meet his little brother Sawyer!

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Little Miss Molly.  She is such a sweet, sweet child.  She has grown so much since I saw her last.

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{Giggle}  I won’t lie – mini session can be as challenging as they are fun.  It’s a lot of families in a short period of time.  And this family showed up just on time to add a little twist into my day.   Ben & Jack wanted to sit on that wall (and if you are familiar with the Carillon, that is not a short wall) so they did.  And it was perfect!  Love families with a bit of crazy in them.

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David & Eliza were awesome to work with.  Eliza has a gorgeous smile.   And David…. wanted to wear a tie!  Ok, this mom is awestruck because my boys that age generally exist in running pants and day old tee shirts.    Looking good kiddos!

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There she is – sweet, energetic Adele, the last mini of the weekend.  She wanted to play chase, so we did.  Love her big smiles and beautiful eyes.

My heartfelt thanks to each of these families for helping to support JDRF!

Grayson {6 days new} – Newborn Photography, Richmond, VA

Fun to meet this fellow JMU mamma and her sweet family.  Go Dukes!  Ok, so maybe purple and gold will be in this little guys future, but for today, it was all a mix and lovely blues and neutrals.  And it was perfect for this handsome little guy!

At right at 6lbs, Grayson is a wee thing – just the most precious size! Mom and Dad have taken to calling him a Pterodactyl when he cries. Trust me, it fits!  And I assure you, he is just the cutest little Pterodactyl you have ever seen.  And he rocks this sweet bow tie and custom printed blanket.  How cute is that blanket!  Oh Etsy….

So much love here with this family!  I am so glad they came to join me for their newborn session at the studio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaylee {6 days new} – Newborn Photography, Richmond, VA

What a precious little thing Miss Kaylee – and what a set of lungs!  But  you can’t tell from these sweet moments.  When she calmed down she was as precious as can be.  She even shared her beautiful smile!

I always love little newborn bits – itty ears and tiny nose.    Especially little feet….. such little feet.

Joining me for her session at just 6 days old and weighing in at just 6lbs, this girl was such a doll.  And so much love – so many precious moments with her parents.  Look at that mamma look!

Brendan {2 years} – Children’s Photography, Richmond, VA

I love celebrating birthdays with my little clients and when this cutie came back, I thought, my goodness – another year already!  Yup, here he is, two year old Brendan!  Look how he has grown up!

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Mom brought lots of fun toys…. have I mentioned I love vintage looking toy!.  I fell in love with these blocks.  And so did Brendan.  I love capturing kids doing what they love to do.

Also high on my list of little boy things are plaid rompers (I was so sad when my own kids finally grew out of them) and books.  This ‘Little Blue Truck’ look was perfect for Brendan – matches his stunning blue eyes.

And it was great to see Brendan’s family again.  He is so lucky to have so many of his grandparents close by and in his life.  They are beautiful family!

 

Clayton {12 days new} – Newborn Photography, Richmond, VA

Oh what a joy to have a boy in the studio, especially one as this handsome little man.  12 day old Clayton came to visit last week and he and his family were such a joy.  And I love all the fun props they brought.  How beautiful is that blanket – gift from Clayton’s crafty grandmother.

Sweet fingers and toes!

This family had so many cute ideas.  Any guess what mom does!  Yup, she is a doctor.  And while Dad admits he is not a professional on any level, he is excited to share his passion for guitar with his new little guy.  Clayton’s mom said it perfectly – he is a proud Daddy!

So thankful little Clayton got to join me in studio.  How handsome is this child!

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