Print your Family Photos Connecticut!

A box arrived from my best friend. Always a delight (she’s a master gifter), I wore a full smile as I ripped the package open promptly burst into tears.

It was an image of my 3 little boys she downloaded from my Facebook and made into a canvas! The quality was a bit off, but I was so surprised it did not matter.  That was 7 years ago.

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Before then, I didn’t consider the value of a printed photo. It still sits on our fireplace mantle that image that I made with a small digital camera that boasts less megapixels than our smartphones. A snapshot that showed me my boys during a slice of time that is now even more important because it was printed.

Such an experience changes the way you feel about yourself.  I remember that day and worrying about the baby falling forward. It was cold and I didn’t want to leave the house, but I took them all out to the pumpkin farm nearby. They had some cool chairs and I had them all dressed to match so even though it was so long ago Pinterest couldn’t guide me. I thought awe, they look cute. It was Facebook worthy, but I didn’t print it. I can’t explain why I felt emotional when I could touch it.

I’ve since printed TONS of images of my kids. I have them on my mouse pad, mugs, all around the house. All that printing experience can help you.

I have access to all kinds of ways to print through professional labs. On canvas, for a frame, on wood, under acrylic, on metal (great for the kitchen). I have samples of my own kids and a program that lets me show you what your image would look like on the wall to make sure you get the right size. It gives you a change to try ahead and see if you like the configuration and images together. What would be more simple to get your images into your life?

Once we are sure what direction you’d like to head, I take care of ordering and will preview the products with a discerning eye to be sure the quality comes through. Then you’ll receive the products directly. I’m happy to help with installation. Cause it’s just as exciting for me to see this awesomeness on your walls!

If you want to chat about possibilities, send me an email at cruzsarah@yahoo.com. Of course, printing an image made by Sarah Cruz Photography guarantees image quality. However, I have made displays for people with their own images too. Don’t hesitate on a gift for yourself.

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And if I don’t have you convinced, check out this blog post on what it does for your kids to see printed images. Click here

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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.

Include your pet in the family portrait.

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“Hey, Sarah, would it be weird to have our dog with us at the session?”

I felt my pulse rises as I imagined  a humungous fella with big slobbery drool like the guard dog in Harry Potter.

Knowing it was important to them I figured, we’d be outside, there was time to play, this was the dog’s family, it should be fine. When I arrived at the family session and dad walked around the corner with a tiny-puppy-sized-fully-matured-not-barking-dog under his arm, I started to beam a big smile.

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The family had a good laugh as I explained the treachery I would experience walking home in 1st grade past a lonely slobber fest of a teen dog that was kept in the yard all day and screaming to be played with when I’d walk by his fence.

They were also delighted after the fact that their dog was looking at one of them or the camera in every image I sent them. So though I’m no where near a dog whisperer, I’m all about taking images of the family as a whole.

My flexibility and willingness to try should relax you into seeing what we can get. I take enough images to be sure to get to our goal. It can be tricky to get everyone positioned just so and we have to have patience adding the unpredictability of dogs.

I’ve had some people bring dog treats if we are in their yard or go to the park a full 1/2 hour ahead of our meet time so their furry pal can explore and get some energy out.DSC_3901

Just like a small kid, bringing a dog’s favorite toy and a willingness to take breaks is encouraged. DSC_0760

I’ve since photographed tons of families with their pets. On the beach, in their homes, at the park, at their grandparents… And though I’m still using allergies as an excuse against our youngest’s canine wish list, including a pet is not even a question.

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5 Reasons why your family needs Christmas, Holiday or Photo Cards.

As December approaches, I feel that pressing weight of that one needed image to represent our year. My goal was to grab it during the first snow, but thboysfix (1 of 1)en we had a year without December snow and it completely stressed me out. So I threw the kids against a white wall of our house in their gear and that represented 2012. OR in 2004 when we dressed our oldest (an only at the time) as baby new year because it was so late.

The first year we had 3 kids, our cards came out Jan 4th, the 12 days of Christmas were almost up, but we made it! Last year was the first time I hosted my extended family of 20 and I never sent any out.

Cards get me worked up and after you get the image, you gotta go through all the provider choices, then all their options to find the most aesthetically pleasing with the image you have determined to use. Then there’s ordering, printing, getting them addressed, buying enough stamps, stamping, decorating and mailing. And yet, when the cards start to flutter into my own mailbox, I delight and look at the detail in each one and am so glad I did it.  They are hung on ribbon on our kitchen wind, blocking the drafts and sparking a smile.

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Reason 1. You show people you care. So simple, I don’t even write in them. In fact, I printed labels so some my kids assembled for me. The effort though was made and I know someone we care about will check the mailbox and see something fun.

Reason 2. You maintain connect with old friends and family. It’s always fun to look back and see families grow up, and then remember fun you had together when that 15 yr old in the card was 3.

Reason 3. They force you to capture your family. Professionally or not, each family needs more images! And they give a personal spin to your holiday greetings.

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Reason 4. You see how your own family has changed. Of course I have a ton, but some of my favorite and most often posted photos were also those I used for our cards. That image at the top of the 3 in the snow is framed and printed on our hall wall, but also on my mousepad at my home office and matted at my work desk. One of my all time favorites and only came about because it was a make them today or forget cards this year day.

Reason 5. Displaying cards is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Visiting others’ homes,  it’s fun to see their collections as well.  My mom gathers hers in a basket which I curiously poke through. Some people put them on the door frame or make displays.

So incase we didn’t get one out to you through snail mail, here is our 2017 family card. And below our awesome outtake.

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One last thought is sending a card to a recovering American Soldier…

A Recovering American Soldier

c/o Walter Read Army Medical Center, 6900 Georgia Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20307-5001

What to expect … Family Photography in South Windsor, Connecticut

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

Dress it up.  DSC_3181

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.

 

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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Best Mother’s Day gift, Family Photography

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People with grownup kids love to to say that “it goes so fast.” And you know what? They’re right. In a flash, from infant to big kid, and there’s only one way to hold on to childhood: freeze it.dsc_6024

We use our phone cameras and take a slew of photos. Those snapshots are so important. You hold them as dear as the ultrasound image or adoption photo that told you Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 2.51.48 PMparenthood was around the corner.  

Once they are here, walking & talking being adorable, they get all the focus and are always featured. Except for that rare time you throw one of the parents in the shot.

On Mother’s or Father’s day we have a chance to recognize and concentrate on the effort that goes into raising them. You could do that with a snapshot from your phone.

But why not celebrate the relationship and gift a new memory that can be printed, framed and bring a smile not just on one day but every time they see it. One of the most priceless gifts you can give your mom  or spouse is a printed photo, particularly in this life where we live so digitally.

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Gift a session that will capture your growing family just as they are!

I have one priced right just for mom and her kids. The perfect opportunity to surprise that sweet woman in your life with a gift that is easy to present.

Too often the busy and selflessness of their lives take precedent over taking the time do what matters most : capturing this season before it passes them by.  Give the priceless gift of photographs this Mother’s Day!mom2.jpg

As a mom, there’s nothing better than my spouse and kids planning a surprise that I don’t have to manage but where I have a bit of control.

Purchase a presentation certificate which comes with a what to wear guide. Certificates can be presented to a mom or Grandma. If you really want to impress her, a family session with the whole family can be prearranged and scheduled later.

Simple text Sarah at 860.819.6001 or email cruzsarah@yahoo.com and a certificate will be on it’s way.