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.

 

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Best time for Family Photos in Connecticut. 3 boys 4 seasons

You know you gotta do it.

Take the time to call a college pal, bake, or write a note, or paint the hall finally but the intended is held off cause your just “waiting until you have the time”.

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Urgent wins but unfortunately isn’t what you’ll wish you  had done in five years.

DSC_0373Urgent puts off everything else for later.  Important
things may wait, while urgent doesn’t.

Well the best time to get your photographs is now because they are just getting bigger and there are always other landmarks to hit. In winter, in spring, summer and in fall.

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Take the time, and you’ll find that it takes less time than you thought.  Schedule it in, and refuse to let anything crowd it out.

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Give yourself the chance to have photos of yourself and your crew created that you love.  Not photos that are ‘fine’ or escape being deleted on your phone– but that you’re thrilled to look at and share with others.  It will change perspective and make you feel accomplished especially if they are printed and framed or come ready to hang! 

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Don’t wait.  Believe me, you DON’T don’t need to wait for season to change, to lose weight, get a hair cut, be not pregnant, dress better,  or wait.

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Nothing needs to change – except maybe the way you feel what’s urgent. Schedule some time. Most days after 4pm or 1st thing on the weekend days. I’m in. Just email cruzsarah@yahoo.com.sarahcruzphotography15 (4 of 1)

Cause next thing is that it’s the winter again, a whole new year of urgent.

 

 

Visiting Family – South Windsor CT Family Photographer

Family visiting from out of town? A perfect excuse to have images made!
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Fleeting nature of a family reunion gives just one chance to capture these important moments before the party is over and everyone goes back to growing up. With an extended family session, you now have an online gallery to share and reconnect over before a single thing is printed.

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Photography adds value to the memory bringing alive the story of your family. Family sessions come with an online gallery to share with each other.

So even if you live in Iowa, California or Canada, you will get to see your images and prints can be made.

Typically, there is one family organizer who coordinates a meet time and location. A family member’s home or local park works just great. I’ll send suggestions for clothing and images so everyone is on the same page. Typically, the family contact makes sure I have all the email addresses.

Images are made of the family all together, cousins, siblings, then the individual families.

If someone isn’t into it, we go to another family and come back. I’ll take couples alone if they like and insist on one of the grandparents. This all happens in about an hour. I’m wedding trained. Posing and playing happens fast.

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Typically within a week, I’ll have a link ready to share the gallery of images online for those who have traveled. If you are local, I swing by as my time is included. From there
depending on package there is a discussion about favorites. Each family can pick their own images and products. I have helped a family create a matching wall gallery for each of their individual houses.

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We coordinate how the images will be used.

Some people would like to see a beautiful image of their family on the wall, others prefer the privacy of an album.

It’s also possible to have digital negatives so you can post your extended family to your social media. Or make a mug for Grandma. 

Celebrating Adoption with Photography.

Delighted to receive a call from Together We Rise a foster care support group that a localDSC_5251 family was completing their adoption. Gifting a family session to mark the occasion, I was excited to get these charmers in front of my camera. Then delighted to find them in walking distance to my home!

Other than how we met it was a typical family photo session.

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These sisters have been together almost their whole lives while mom and dad worked through the process, so they were very easy with each other.

A sweltering day in August, we met at their house and though they have a picture perfect yard, the heat won. So we got a few indoor and outdoor shots. DSC_5305

DSC_5300The kids wandered into the air conditioning after a few captures in the gazebo. Per usual, kids are encouraged to play, the bubbles come out, books are read, running, jumping, craziness ensues, then a change of scenery. We headed back outside to gather some shots with the adorable boards that mom created in her own handwriting!

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There was some insistence from the littles over who held each letter, but no matter how you spell it, they are still family.

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DSC_5262With over 100,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted, happily there are now two less.

A California based non-profit, Together We Rise peaked my interest when I saw an image of a small child with a garbage bag and learned that’s typically how kids travel from house to house. Their goal is to change the way kids experience the foster care system.

Consider donating your skills or funds because 1,200 kids are effected each day. togetherwerise.org/helplocally

 

Summer Family Reunion Photos

After the water balloons have been tossed and corn-on-the-cob has been eaten, photos remain to document growth and change. A Family Reunion is a summer staple for many families, a great chance to see relatives and reconnect. Not to mention how happy Grandma becomes.DSC_3222

The fleeting nature of a family reunion gives just one chance to capture these important moments; then they are gone, perhaps forever. After I’ve entered the scene that’s changed because you now have an online gallery to share and reconnect over before a single thing is printed.

Photographing a visit and meeting of new family members adds value to the memory. It brings alive the story of your family and extends the memory as an extended family session comes with an online gallery to share with each other.

Plus it gives something for the cousins to bond over. Who does this lady think she is making us run, blow bubbles, play,  jump and climb trees?DSC_3190

How does it all work?

Typically, there is one family organizer who coordinates a meet time and location. A family member’s home or local park works just great. I’ll send suggestions for clothing and images so everyone is on the same page. Typically, the family contact makes sure I have all the email addresses.

On picture day, they a cooler of drinks or popsicles is suggested because getting your photos done can be sweaty, especially in the summer. Water is best!

I take images of the family all together, cousins, siblings, then the individual families. If someone isn’t into it, we go to another family and come back. I’ll take couples alone if they like and insist on one of the grandparents. This all happens in about an hour. I’m wedding trained. Posing and playing happens fast. DSC_3178Typically within a week, I’ll have a link ready to share the gallery of images online for those who have traveled. If you are local, I swing by as my time is included. From there DSC_3108depending on package there is a discussion about
favorites. Each family can pick their own images and products. I have helped a family create a matching wall gallery for each of their house.

We can than coordinate how the images will be used. Some people would like to see a beautiful image of their family on the wall, others prefer the privacy of an album. It’s also possible to have digital negatives so you canDSC_3038 post your extended family to your social media. Or make a mug for Grandma. 

What if you had images of your extended family that were done in the most beautiful way?

 

 

 

Summery Snapshot – Family Photos Connecticut

Photography is famous for freezing time. A snapshot suggests a tiny slip of recorded time and it is for posterity. It’s also a reflection of where your family is right now. DSC_6592-Edit

Had the pleasure of making an image of these 3.

They are moving up to different schools, but the love between this crew is constant. Graduation maybe more memorable an occasion, but a simple summer evening maybe a better reflection of who they are as pre-teens. I adore capturing kids at any age but think the playful 3 yr old is my favorite until you see the curtain drop and a preteen reveals vulnerability with a real smile that lights up the view. DSC_6533

Punch your brother – memories for a lifetime.

So we get the shots of everyone looking at the camera. But then I’m directing their play. I WANT the kids to interact and act up. For these too, I know the boundary is a little more aggressive, because we’re related. SO I may have encouraged a bit of a smack down. Photos remind us of whDSC_2342o we are to each other and what our family history is.  My style is about capturing the little, natural moments that document each person’s personality in the truest way possible. To me, the experience of having a fun, relaxed photo shoot (especially with kids!) is just as important as the resulting photographs.  But the point is that I’m not looking for perfect. And that’s not how you will remember your life either. If we can play we can get to the REAL yummy and before you know it, the shoot is done. These two were set in under 15 minutes. Being a mom is what made me a photographer. Kids are why I love it so much. So don’t hesitate because you’re worried about ‘behaviors’ or judgement from me on you’re kids mood. There is nothing your troops can throw at me I can’t work with.

Let’s make a playdate. Delight in your family. Be photographed in a fun & charming way.

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Lifestyle Family Photography – South Windsor CT

Real fun. Real people. Real love. Real life. 

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So glad you to hear the happy feedback on Active Lifestyle sessions. Want an image of everyone looking at the camera, no worries. But let’s also focus on documenting your family doing every day life your way.DSC_0727

DSC_0780So much love and beauty in those sometimes mundane activities. Highlighting the little in-between moments because 20 years from now, you might not remember all the cute and silly things your kids did. They’re all about fun, laughter, smiles, games, and fun – what it’s all about.

Family Lifestyle Photography sessions are about life, your life because no matter how messy, loud, and chaotic life gets, it’s still authentically beautiful. In all my sessions, we play. It’s the benefit to not being in a tight spaced studio. It’s my job to help get the kids involved and capture some gold.

DSC_0703Since home is probably where you spend most of you time as a family, you and your kids feel relaxed and comfortable. Play with toys or just roll on the floor. If you adore creating crafts or love baking as a family, these can be documented during your lifestyle session, memories that you will be able to hold on to even as your children grow up and your family expands and changes. Let’s be honest one of the coolest things about photos of our parents is looking at the backgrounds and seeing how they dressed and what the tv looked like. As a detail person, I’m happy to be aware of what’s displaying in the background and have been know to crop something distracting out.; )

While most Family Lifestyle Photography sessions take place in your home, they don’t have to! If you love to go bowling, eating at a special ice cream parlor or cafe? These are things we can document during your lifestyle session as well! Because of my wedding experience, I’m so comfortable shooting anywhere. Would love to brainstorm with you!

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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…

Sarah Cruz Photography
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