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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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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PhotoShop – What makes you beautiful?

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Glanced at this photo on a photography group this morning, smiled and started to scroll away. Then paused with the thought I barely know PhotoShop and I’ve shot weddings, families, HS seniors, babies, and models. This though was a realization that the thought is PS = perfection and you need to be ‘fixed’ to be beautiful. The reality is that is why you want an experienced photographer. Through posing, direction, lighting, clothing choices, emotion and experience, a good photographer can bring out your beauty/perfection right through the lens. My camera doesn’t make you look good or cry when you see the final image, my experience and passion do. So Photoshop, you ain’t got anything on me.  My final images are always edited by me, typically through a different Adobe program that brings out light, removes blemishes and lets me change a crop.  I’ve done the work to bring out your best. It’s not a program, it’s not my camera, it’s you and me interacting or witnessing your moments.