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

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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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Halloween Sessions – CT Family Photographer -Sarah Cruz

Digging through the discarded wigs, I pulled out some Christmas tinsel and pulled it around my baton to complete my black leotard DSC_0269with a slash of silver that ran from hip to shoulder. Rain had prevented our Memorial Day parade, but I created a reason to wear my treasured baton outfit. Paired with black tights and a black wig of spiked 4 inch hair. As I proudly stood with my baton in the air as we trick or treated, I was electricity! Felt like a super as I ran through the streets fading into the night.

dsc_7694-1We put so much care and thought in to our kids outfits that only are celebrated one time a year. Halloween sessions are a way to celebrate that and capture the joy that being someone else brings.

I love making these photos. The goal is to incorporate the scenery for the fantasy of your child’s costume.dsc_6624

It’s such fun to see the unique loves of the kids and how excited they are to be dressed as their favorite.dsc_6762

Economically priced to encourage the fun, each session comes with some digital images to post your superhero or storybook character on FB.

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These sessions take about 20 minutes because kids are in character and unposed out the gate.

They are booking and happening now, though I typically don’t post to my Facebook until the two weeks before the holiday. So don’t hesitate to connect with your kid in a new way delighting in their fantasy then let’s talk to figure out the best way to execute their ideas.

Create a special photo that you can display year round or pull out just for October. See below for details on pricing. screen-shot-2015-07-10-at-7-24-55-pm

To see more photos cut and paste : http://www.sarahcruzphotography.com/Children/Halloween-mini

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BFF, High School Senior Yearbook Portraits

Walking in to preschool, going to a dance, experiencing High School, everything is better with a friend. The same is true for getting your pictures made!

dsc_5978Sessions with me are laid back. I have an easy approach and encourage movement or play, dsc_5792but evendsc_5830 I have to acknowledge that nobody except a Kardashian is instantly comfortable in front of a camera.

I coach how you stand and pay attention to how the light is hitting you to avoid shadows and contour you correctly.

Conversation however, is what brings the twinkle into your eye.

dsc_5813Nervous about being photographed? Roping in your best friend and sharing the session will ease you and bring on more ideas.dsc_5779

Not to mention how your buddy can make you laugh and be natural.dsc_6028

 

More importantly, being photographed with the one person that has your back in high school creates souvenirs to cherish when your Facebook time hops or your Instagram scrolls.

And these Best Friend sessions aren’t just for teens and high school seniors.  They aren’t often considered, but just like families that want to mark the day together, having a buddy along brings out the true you.

Images are a reminder of how much you’ve been through together and how lucky you are that they are in your life.  Who doesn’t need that?

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So aside from images together, you’ll see images that match your buddy’s and individual unique shots too.

Class of 2017, it’s not too late to make the yearbook if you were putting it off. Class of 2018, it’s not too early to start booking.

Had so much fun with these gals. Was delighted to receive their image of me taking this one. : )

South Windsor Food Alliance Farmers’ Market

Every Saturday between 10 – 1 something special is happening rainDSC_6670 or shine on the lawn of the recreation center in South Windsor, Connecticut.

As a favor, I typically capture images to share on their social media. Made sense to share here too particularly because the season is in full swing and rumor has it last year’s pie contest will be on repeat.

Run by the South Windsor FOOD Alliance a sub-committee of the South Windsor Park & Recreation Commission. It’s amazing what is Connecticut Grown!DSC_6681 The SW FOOD Alliance’s purpose is to increase awareness regarding the health benefits of eating locally grown foods and to make the connection between where our food comes from and the local farms that have been an important link in the history of the town.

Even in the rain, late June to mid October, you can just drive up to the free parking manned by volunteers to direct you. DSC_4966
Bring your own bag, more cash then you’d think (some merchants take credit cards) and an appetite. We go almost ever week for fresh Thai Food from Ban Chaing, Chet’s Italian Ice, Granny’s Pie Factory, fresh produce, Root beer floats from Burke Ridge Farm and pastry. Oh, and there are things other than food like jewelry, handmade soaps, plants, flowers and services.

You can get your knives sharpened or visit with the animals. You are welcome toDSC_4781 bring kids of all ages and fur babies too.

We have seen all sizes of dogs on leashes.

During the winter months, the market moves indoors. Last year it was at St. Margaret Mary Church at 80 Haynes Road. Most of the vendors made the move with food being cooked outside. Check the site to confirm where the Winter Market can be found for the 2016-27 winter.

If you don’t come to buy, come for entertainment. Each week there are new offerings such as pony rides, musicians, a drum circle, bike safety checks… Check the market on FB at  www.facebook.com/SouthWindsorFarmersMarket

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Atmosphere is fun and conversational. Tents are set with chairs and tables for relaxing. With the playground a few feet away, it’s a wonderful place for families. The people watching is fantastic and conversation with strangers encouraged. You will be surprised who you see at the South Windsor Farmers Market.

We tend to swing through before the beach in the summer or after soccer practice in the fall. Its a fun place to run into friends, neighbors and sometimes teachers (yup they don’t live at the school!).  I did mention the food right?

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Check out this Connecticut Grown pepper from River View Farm

When you are there tag yourself on Instagram too.  SouthWindsorFood@gmail.com 860-FRESH-03

 

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?

 

 

 

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.

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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Happy 1st Birthday! – CT Family Photographer

Sending warm wishes on her 14th month birthday. Looking forward to positive results for this joyful warrior baby and her loving family. Cake was made by her crafty momma, check her site at www.morselsparties.com

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