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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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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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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High School Senior Photos for Guys- South Windsor CT

Documenting life events through photographs is special and important. High school graduation is an exciting time and you should have more than a selfie & your yearbook to mark it. dsc_5487High school senior sessions are one of my favorites to photograph! Marking this life event with personality and flair unique to each senior is like celebrating kids in costume.

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In each session we include props that represent each senior’s talents, hobbies, sports and personality, and select locations and backgrounds to match their individuality! Guys aren’t usually as psyched to get in front of the camera, but a playful & confident attitude wins!dsc_5472

In this case, Ryan was getting images made at his mom’s request. He was such a sport. We chatted ahead about interests. Turns out Ryan’s Eagle Scout project was to clear a section of the woods next to St. Margaret Mary Church property ( stmmsw.com) for the Stations of the Cross.  So we decided to meet there.

All the images here were taken on the church property and quickly. Even with the family furry friend, it took just a short time to capture the real smiles.

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We even encouraged Ryan’s mom Amy to sneak in for a few.

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dsc_5492Congratulations on your graduation Ryan! it’s never too early to plan your Senior Photo Session. I do book Senior Sessions all year! And sessions at any season can be epic!