What to expect … Family Photography in South Windsor, Connecticut

Some thoughts on making the most of your family photography session.

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I send tips on dressing and Pinterest links to help you, but choosing clothing helps determine the kind of images you will have. Soft and elegant?  Chose neutral colors with soft, flowing fabrics…. think creams, very soft pastels, oatmeals, light browns, tans, grays, and slate blues.

Fun?  Choose coordinating bold colors like hues of gray with yellow or bright red accents.  Add scarves, headbands, hats, or a prop like a flag. Some families have their hair and makeup professionally done.  Whatever makes you feel most put together and true. sarahcruzphotography

Rest up.

The best lighting is the two hours before sunset and after sunrise, but I am able to shoot at any time of day. Many families come to a photo session and schedule dinner after.

If this is your plan, be sure to give everyone a healthy snack before the photo shoot. I encourage drinks to be brought especially during the summer when we are meeting outside. Blankets and mittens if it’s the winter.

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Participation.

Most teens dread the family photo session and some dads too, but I work fast and keep things moving. Most are pleasantly surprised. I’ve yet to be overwhelmed by a toddler DSC_8437either. I chat and interact  with your children to get natural, gorgeous smiles.  It really is painless and worth any anxiety for the time together and amazing photographs.  If you are engaged as a family and loving on each other your smile will be natural. Knowing this will be shared with your grandchildren, you will be so glad that you gave this time to your family.

Have fun with your family.

Don’t be afraid to pick up your children and toss them in the air.  Kiss your spouse on the cheek or whisper how much you love them  Have fun. Laugh. Snuggle. Play.  This captures emotion and relationship –  your love through my lens.DSC_3190

Incorporating an activity that the family loves to do together is an easy way to do this. When we meet at a park and the kids run or play that’s one aspect, but making something like a campfire is another. Its’ something to do with your hands, engages everyone, and brings an authentic smile to your face.  Do you cook together? Let’s make something. Do you love to read together?  Bring some books.  Love to play board games or cards?  Plan to play a round of cards during your family photo session.  Other ideas include: bike riding, hiking, picnics – families that are engaged will have authentic photographs that reflect who they are. This will make the most of the photography session and celebrate your family to create images you love.

 

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What it feels like to hire a professional family photographer – CT Family Photography

For most, a family photo means a stranger’s snap in front of a vacation spot or the waiter when you realize everyone is together at an event table.

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Hiring someone for something you can do for yourself seems odd and yet we go to a restaurant or buy a pie at the farmer’s market for the experience and self reward.

I reached out to some of my recent clients to get their feedback and included some more details on what the experience is like when we work together.

“I am SO happy that we had the photos done. As you know, the kids grow up exponentially fast! Photos are such a perfect memento of capturing that point in time that you want to be able to remember forever. Our living room wall is covered with those pictures and I love looking at them. Just the other night I was looking at one of the pictures of my middle child and he ALREADY looks different, older, and it wasn’t really that long ago. For instance that front tooth that was loose in the picture is now gone, but we still have this adorable picture of him and that front loose tooth that I won’t forget 🙂 “- Cara

“I absolutely love love all the pics you took. Especially the spaghetti ones. I have some displayed in frames in the kitchen and the others in a photo book! People are always commenting on the pics! ” – Tina

“We gifted my in-laws the huge canvas and they love it!” – Dayna  

“We hesitated to have photos taken not realizing how valuable they are now that the time is gone. I’m really glad we made the time. ” – Diane

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High School Senior Yearbook Portraits

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After taking photos with her sister, it was Maddy’s turn to be alone in front of the camera. We had several outfits to go through a majority of them being natural, casual and sporty so our location was perfect. So was she, because this gal was willing to try lots of poses and looks.

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Flexibility and the a willingness to relax really makes for a good image, even when you are worried about getting poked by the grass or losing a bracelet in the field.

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That willingness to let go makes room for conversation while I’m coaching where to place hands or shift so the light hits just so.

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Props like sports equipment or a book gives provides something else to focus on and will mark the time you spent in high school in a way the yearbook may not.

Yearbook formals through the school or as part of your session with me is a memorable way to mark the end of your time in High School. Celebrating what the time has meant to you and making a photo of that creates new memories.

Congratulations Maddy and the class of 2017!

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Sisters – High School Senior Graduation Photography – Suffield, CT

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Moms know their kids so when it was time for Maddy’s graduation photos, she smartly suggested we add sister images because sometimes a sibling can’t just hang on the sideline.

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So we captured Maddy and her sister. Making images of the girls together as formal DSC_6113portraits and each of them alone.
They were easy with each other and wanted a formal look so we did those before Maddy changed her outfits to get images to mark all her High School Senior moments.
High School Senior Graduation portraits celebrate the senior but also everyone who helped them get there.

So we have to do some of the graduating student with their parents.

Extending a High School Senior Photography Session with a plan means everyone has the chance to gussy up and feel their best for a portrait rather than the snapshots I’ll take when mom’s say “oh no, just get the grad!”  See Maddy’s images next on the blog..

CT Outdoor Winter Baby Photo Session Hulafrog South Windsor

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Being cold and pushing snow off my car after a long shift of waitressing at Friendly’s convinced me to move to CA as soon as I finished my degree at UConn. A few (?) years later the white stuff is so enchanting, temperature is an after thought.

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The world is all different covered in snow. A giveaway with the newly launched Hulafrog South Windsor was a match to encourage people to move outside.Happily. the winner had a new baby to celebrate and was cool with winter.sarahcruzphotography3-1-of-1

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We just had to wait for the magical fluff to fall, so even though the contest was in November, we just had an outdoor winter session. The wait gave the baby a chance to grow, master smiling and lifting her head.

Fortunately, there wasn’t wind. The last time I had been in these woods was for a freezing fall shoot and this February day was more comfortable.

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So being in the snow is much like other sessions, there are posed and play shots, though it may all happen a bit faster if the wind picks up.

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Special thank you to Hulafrog South Windsor for connecting me with this family, follow them on Facebook for other contest opportunities and to keep posted on family happenings in our town.http://hulafrog.com/south-windsor-ct hulafrogs-most-loved-badge-winner-2017-200

No Place Like Home. Great Indoor Family Photos.

Tag your family is it – as you play and I capture images. Running through the grass or snow, outside family images are energetic and fun.

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Indoor images can be just as spontaneous even though the movement is limited.They require a more controlled approach, but home is where the heart is. Your family is already comfortable there and it adds meaning to images.

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If being in the snow isn’t your thing, consider shooting in your home. A location doesn’t need to be magazine ready or even straightened up, just a few windows and we’re good to go. dsc_0719

My wedding experience gives me the flexibility to roll with what is available. I have been known to move a stack of magazines or a bright colored throw from the background. I’ve also in some situations, like this one, had to freak out about the amazing expanse of windows and warm afternoon light we had.

All my typical fooling still comes out even though it’s a little less that I’m about to back into a random bush and instead leaning toward you from behind a chair.

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The cool part is that the consistent set up for the images make a nice display.

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For the love of weddings. CT Family Photographer

_dsc0186During the rain storm yesterday, I planned to pull some images for a wedding inquiry and next thing I knew the kids were walking in off the bus.

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Only a few galleries were easily accessible and yet I fell right down the rabbit hole. Why are we so drawn to the romantic charm of a wedding?

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So I’m sharing some of my favorites from the galleries I had on hand.Who doesn’t like details? The dress, bouquet, rings, fancy shoes, venue…

_dsc0687How the groom enters, what’s his response when she does…

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I thought it was about relationship, but a quick google search revealed not only that , it also our joy in ceremony.”rituals help people transition …and savor the milestone they have just reached.” Michael Norton of Harvard Business School in this article Mic.com.

Each new commitment is unique as the couple and  I always tear up.

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They are beaming, proud, happy. Because all the planning has come to this.

Then there is the excitement of the party with your dearest friends and family.

After formal family shots, it’s my favorite, images to keep as a mint new couple.

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On to the party.

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When that weighty invite arrives in the mail, get excited to embrace all the tidbits but mostly fall a little more in love. Because their love validates your love.

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Who doesn’t love a wedding? Wanna read more? loved this article too. Had to post my adoration for the ceremony because truly I love to photograph relationships. Family photography in South Windsor CT is my joy. _dsc0640

 

 

Suffield, CT High School Senior portraits – Daybreak beauty.

dsc_6415Uninspired about what’s offered to you through your High School for yearbook photos? I get it.

Think outside the box of the studio or the school’s contract & formula portrait. You have choices and image files I provide are high quality and can be printed in your yearbook.

So leave a mark & embed how you live in a print. Don’t underestimate your senior photos like they don’t matter, because they do, They are a snapshot of who you are right now. Do them your way and have options!

Grace just needed one image for her yearbook, but also wanted to celebrate her puppy, her riding skills and where she was in life.dsc_6373

We decided outdoors near a barn made sense and they had a place in mind. Excited to shoot outside of South Windsor I met her in her hometown of Suffield,  CT at the crack of dawn at this beautiful farm. Because the sun was rising we had lots of looks with the different light and she ended up with quite a gallery to choose from.

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Everything from styling your session and look, to choosing your location and theme; the choice is yours.

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Grace had her high resolution senior image file for the yearbook. PLUS. some great photos with all her facets and most importantly, with her biggest cheerleader – mom.dsc_6442 Call and reserve your unique date and session type – booking senior portrait sessions for the 2017 graduates.

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Festive Fall Images – Family Photographer South Windsor CT

Ah the end of fall. These images were from late last year, but we never got a chance to celebrate them.

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Wanted to share this warm story because this time of year, when the town picks up our leaves and we start making lists, we don’t focus on fall so much as holiday. One session can bend and do both.

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We picked a forest setting as the leaves were off the trees but still available for play and we also had pine trees to give the alternative winter theme look.

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Mom smartly picked cool neutrals rather than bright reds which scream holiday. However the gray reflects the color of the tree trunks so is cohesive for fall.

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Resulting in images that work for fall, but also for a festive card. Fall is such a fun time for play and candids.

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I love to provide choices and flexibility to follow what the kids are into. Planning your session we talk about what you’d like to have a result. We go for the formal, playful, individual and group.

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Guiding toward that goal. I love ideas and am willing to go for it. Mom had a seen an image with a kid bring home a Christmas tree on their kid sized car. So I brought along a thick prop rope and the top of a artificial tree and *presto*.

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Fall Family Photos Broad Brook, CT 06016

In between all the awesome Halloween images, I had the pleasure of capturing a family. Always happy to meet at one of the local parks, but coming to your home is an added joy. It keeps me on my toes and like when I was wedding shooting, you never know what the setting will be like. So image my delight when I rolled up to this thrilling space! dsc_8374

The tree was drooping with beautiful yellow leaves which matched their home and there was a lush covering on the ground. Better still was their willingness to play. They loved the tree as well and showed me an image from a few years before that we recreated. So charming! Then we walked to the backyard. Such lovely light.

How adorable are these two? Love that they were quick to smile and had such easy attitude with each other. I sent them off to grab something they want to be photographed with and had to capture mom and dad, who looked so stunning against this amazing backdrop.

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Made it clear where their kids’ ease came from. Love when a family session results in a great image for the parents.

Kids swung back with their prized items. Then we made images of each kid with mom and dad individually.

We hit the front yard for an epic leaf battle which had lots of outtakes and a few keepers.

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Before we wrapped, we had a special request for an image “where I’m picking the leaves”. I adore when kids have ideas. How could we top that?

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