Greenhouse family photo session at Woodland Gardens in CT

The snow falling in huge chunky flakes was so graceful and peaceful falling with a hush, but it was already late March. Not a one of you wanted your families photographed in the confetti and my own kids were over it. It was time to think outside the box by going into one!

Giddy when Woodland Gardens in Manchester CT opened their doors to us. Their warning was that in April the greenhouse ‘is just starting to look good’. Wow. I mean the color was so welcoming and the air so fresh.DSC_9742

So delighted when some of you braved the unusual idea with me to make some lovely images. Mixing it up was an exciting challenge, especially when I woke up to rain!

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All my wedding photographing experience had me ready to look at different angles, avoid the puddles and greenhouse equipment to make the expected clean and bright images of your relationships.

The bright spring colors in your outfits contrasted what was happening outside and was so inspiring and joyful inside. After glancing around there were lots of choices. We just had to find spots to snuggle for a few to get some updated photos to hang on the wall (or as a gift for Mother’s Day!!!) It was spacious enough to get the touch of play too…

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The mini session vibe and end results are different compared to in-home or park sessions, but I still love love love them.

Mini sessions are even faster paced than a full session with concentration typically on the immediate family but in a fun setting. We did pumpkins and leaves in the fall so spring was a welcomed new opportunity. No matter the setting, my focus always is capturing the family connection. Both types of sessions have a place in my business and on your walls.

They both could work for your family too, it depends what you want the images to reflect. Need some updates to your wall or do you want a full complete story?

Anyway, here’s a little sampling of the lovely love we captured this year during the Spring Greenhouse Mini Sessions at Woodland Gardens in Manchester CT.

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Are you ready to talk about your own family session?

I’m just a message away my friend 🙂 Contact me so we can get to talkin’. And if you think you’d like to do a mini session next time, keep your eyes peeled on instagramor sign up on my email list – I’ll be sure to share info without annoying you with junk. Promise!

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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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Mid Summer’s Dream Connecticut Family Photographer

DSC_5884 (2)Can’t rest. Used to juggling events on a calendar and hustling to sports dates.
Summer is here to slows us all down. Listening to the hum of an air conditioner can lull you into a daze. Not me.

All spring I have been shooting, scooting around town, managing dates. Intention was to share some of last summers’ lazy days and now there’s a backlog of images.

So I’m pressing pause. Then rewind.

I plucked some images from a sweet spring session to showcase how setting really does add magic.

Her giggle is timeless and this babyface is just as adorable a year later. Maybe more so because she’s grown.

Let’s meet up and freeze some time. Feel for a sec the world isn’t spinning so fast.

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Dzen Tree Farm – picking out a Christmas Tree, South Windsor CT Family Photographer

 

With a warmer than average day, we decided to trek up to Dzen Tree Farm in South Windsor to gather a tree and hike the hills a bit. With the addition of their resident baby reindeer, Dzen is the farm that has embraced the reindeer on all their signage. You really can’t miss it..

We drove up to the checkpoint and took the offer for a saw though we had brought our own. We were directed to the top of the farm for the vantage point and greenhouse which was bustling with holiday treat offerings like hot chocolate. There was also freshly popped corn from Podunk Popcorn which is also managed on property and grown in South Windsor, CT. Wreaths, cuttings and cut trees were available and the opportunity to snap images of the visiting reindeer. The two residents are below near the private section of the farm.

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All the trees are set at the same price, so you can really take some time to pick out your favorite.  There are people in vest available to help and they kindly pointed out to the area we should look to for our tree type.

Everyone had ideas on the best tree. We had decided on a blue spruce going in but couldn’t decide on the size. Flagging our favorites by putting a random stick at the top, the kids began to play.

Tip: The first trees to get picked over tend to be the ones near the parking lot, so the farther reaches of a farm might offer a better selection.

A few family shots were taken and not wanting to be left out, I handed over the camera too…My husband’s head was totally lobbed off but they got in the trees like I asked!!

Then it was time to get down to business. After all three boys practiced on a stump with both saws, they got to work on our tree. We had brought a set a work gloves which was very effective against the sharp spiky needles of the blue spruce.

As a last minute thought we had thrown a tarp into the minivan. When we had a tree down, we rolled it onto the tarp and dragged it to the parking area. The youngest’s face is my favorite.

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Once we brought it to the greenhouse the staff took over. They slid it through the hoop for netting. We then put the tarp on the car and tied the tree to the top.

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We exited down the hill, returned the saw and paid for our tree. At home we set up the stand, recut the bottom of our tree and removed the lowest branches. Once it was set inside and locked into place, we tasked the kids with watering.

A fun tradition and switch from a fake tree. The house smells lovely with the addition.

Think you’d like a tag along to gather your Christmas Tree? Let me know, I’m happy to venture with your family to this beautiful south windsor Ct family spot.

Reindeer at Dzen Tree Farm South Windsor Connecticut


Music plays, lights twinkle, smile and gear up its holiday time! Shopping for Christmas lights while your yard is decorated as a Halloween graveyard littered with chewed up pumpkins is stressful. Need a boost and thechildlike looking-forward feeling? Spring a surprise on your family, the anticipation of which can maybe encourage your heart to grow a size, give you happiness & energy and also – of course – result in something fun.

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Through special arrangements, extra magic can be captured with Sarah Cruz Photography this winter. An unique experience awaits to draw them from their devices and create a classic memory. South Windsor welcomes two new permanent residents at Dzen Tree Farm. Join me in an up-close visit with adorable Reindeer Max and Jack.

DzentreesWith a bit of Christmas magic and effort from owner John Dzen Jr, the 3 foot tall creatures which had been banned from Connecticut are now welcome only in our town! Adorable, docile and familiar with kids, the reindeer are “…like playing with a puppy. They are soft and have nice eyes” said my son Grant – age 6.

A Dad himself, Mr. Dzen carefully guides visitors into the fenced reindeer barn and yard. He coaches the kids to pet, feed, lead and play with the reindeer. “For us, it’s all about the experience.” he told me.  Focus on the moment, your loved ones reactions and let me capture it for you.

We caSzentrees3n do posed images where everyone is looking at the camera, but cannot guarantee the reindeers’ cooperation. Your final images will reflect the memory, however we are lucky that Jack and Max are pleased to be photographed and curious enough to give glances my way. Because of my wedding and toddler image expertise, you are sure to have great documentary highlights that you could not possibly manage from your cellphone. I would love to tell you that the value is the in the images, but truly, as Mr. Dzen said, it is the experience.

If this is something you would like to share with your family, please email me as it is by appointment only. $275 includes insurance, fee to the farm, Mr. Dzen’s visit management and a $30 print credit (covers print & mailing of an 8×10, 2 5×7’s or full resolution digital download image negative*).

Dzentree4Just like a typical family session, you will see your images online and can order prints or additional downloads directly from SarahCruzPhotography.com.

Of course you are welcome to drive over the hill and pick out a gorgeous tree after you’ve visited Max and Jack. (Perhaps I’ll tag along…)

Dzen Tree Farm is located at 215 Barber Hill Road in South Windsor. www.dzentreefarm.com. There is more than one Dzen Farm, but only one has reindeer. Email me at cruzsarah@yahoo.com to make your reindeer reservation. Special CT Family Photography adoring our CT Farms.

*Image share sent electronically within 2 days if not sooner of session. Unlike typical sessions, prepayment required. 6.35 sales tax additional

Celebrate your family! CT Family Photography

Capturing your family in photos is a fantastic way to celebrate them! During family sessions, invite your mom, your sister, and the horsey next door to illustrate how special your crew actual is.

DSC_4301-EditImages of the two of you because parenting can be hard on marriage and it’s so important for your little people to see you together, in print.

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We get the image where everyone is looking at the camera with a smile, but goofing off with some directed play has fun results.

This time, aunt ramped everyone up and loving grandparents added to the energy too.

When we made use of the lush serene park aka Grandma’s, we looked for some more adventure…

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