South Windsor CT Photography Family Quick Sessions in the leaves and trees, Mini, Fall and Christmas

Don’t let the season run away from you. Get a jump on your holiday cards. Images are typically provided in a password protected gallery within a week of capture.

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To find out about Fall mini sessions click here

 

 

 

 

To find out about Christmas Tree Sessions at Dzen Farm Saturday 11/17 and Wednesday 11/21 click here

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Want to know more about Dzen Farm? Read what it’s like to get a tree there. The farm isn’t open until the day after Thanksgiving.

You can also email Sarah at cruzsarah@yahoo.com or text me at 860.819.6001

 

Mini-Session FAQs:

At certain times of the year, with fall being the most popular. Mini-sessions are needed to get a few images for Holiday Cards,  sessions are shorter and booked one after another.

They are good for those families that want updated family photos but don’t necessarily need or want to spend too much time required with a full photography session. 15-20 minutes for a photoshoot, no problem!!

2. What should we wear?

Best tip… be comfortable in whatever it is you pick! I’ll send you tips and pointers.

3. When should we arrive?

Because we book these mini-sessions back-to-back, there is little wiggle room. If you are running late I unfortunately cannot give you extra time during your session since it would push back each session following. Please plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early, that way we can be sure to get all the photos you were hoping for of your beautiful family!

4. How many people can I bring with me?

These fall mini-sessions are designated for immediate families and their pets, You could book back to back sessions, but with extended family I would recommend a full session, at least one hour long.

5. Can I give or my mini-session to someone else?

YES! Absolutely. You can gift or sell your mini-session if you are unable to attend.

6. How long before I receive my proofs back?

You will receive your proofs back fairly quickly during the holiday season, I commit to a week. I understand most everyone will be using the images from the mini-sessions for holiday cards and gifts so I am focusing on a quick turnaround.

Image proofs will be emailed via a private online gallery link for you to view and order from. You will receive the email within a week after your session.

7. Can I purchase more images then what is included in my package?

Yes, you can purchase extra images that were not included in your package.

8. I want to schedule something outside of a mini-session because I would like to have an extended family shoot done. How do I schedule that?

You can certainly do that. Please keep in mind space is limited this time of year and you will want to reserve your date asap. Email me at cruzsarah@yahoo.com

9. What is your cancellation policy?

If you absolutely cannot make your session and you cancel with at least 24 hours notice, you will receive a credit towards a future session.

10. What if it rains, do you offer a rain date?

YES! Rain dates are always announced prior to booking. Please be sure you are available for both dates in the case of bad weather. If for some reason you cannot make the rain date and you cancel with more then 24 hours notice you can use the credit towards a future session.

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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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Momtography: Connecticut Camera Class geared towards moms.

I’m a licensed teacher, how do you like them apples? Ha! This winter, I went through training to instruct a DSLR photography class designed with moms in mind.

I needed to understand how to explain what I know in a structured way. After learning through a class myself and a few years of mistakes, it’s amazing how much I can share. It’s so fun to connect with other people who have a similar interest and typically are moms too.

During our 4 hours ofFBEvent Picture Momtography, there are lots of stories, laughs, sharing, slides, images to dissect, practice, some technical skills and my favorite a moment when people ‘get it’. It isn’t just my talking, you’ll have exercises to try and some time to work together. This class is great to take on your own or bring your friend.

Come connect with us. When the day is done, you will have opportunities to stay practicing and connected with the other attendees. Also, a larger online community. I know motherhood can be lonely, but pursing a hobby with other people on the same journey is wonderful.

You can find class detail at the bottom of this linked information sheet or shoot me a question at cruzsarah@yahoo.com or below.

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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.

 

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..

Winter Snow Baby Outdoor Photo Session with Hulafrog South Windsor, CT

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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