Family

What's so great about mini sessions?

Mini sessions are one of my favorite ways to make sure all of my recurring AND new clients get updated photos of themselves and their families. I have done several rounds of these special events in the couple of years that I’ve been a photographer, and today I wanted to share with you what the best parts of mini sessions are. If you’ve never booked a session like this, you’ll love knowing all of these pros before you decide to schedule one with me or your preferred photographer!

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1 // They’re Quick!

It’s right in the name - mini ! Usually mini sessions are 20 or 30 minutes, which is actually the perfect amount of time to have all the photos you could possibly want. This time frame is especially great for families with 2 or 3 young kids who might not last through an entire 1-hour session. Usually 20 minutes is a perfect amount of time to get a couple full family shots, some individuals, and several candids in between all of those Christmas-Card-and-framed-gift-worthy shots. Plus, no husband or boyfriend has ever complained during these quick sessions ;D

2 // They’re Affordable

I love planning these sessions as many times in a year as I can, because I know that not every family or couple wants to invest hundreds of dollars to update their family photos. Most of my regular sessions happen for big life events - new baby, engagement, maternity, etc - but it’s so important to have new photos of your family as they grow more and more every day. All of those sessions can add up, though! That’s why spending $150 or so a year on these sessions is reasonable for most people. Save your money for the big life events and book a mini session once or twice a year!

3 // They’re Usually Adorably Styled

Personally, almost all of the mini session events I’ve planned come with some sort of “theme” or stylized setting. I like to have it as something special (and honestly to draw people in with my fun ideas ;D) but I usually plan for the fact that not everyone will want to take their photos in front of the setting I have planned. Usually the locations lend themselves well to venturing off course a bit, which is a great way to make your session different from the others I do that day! I also love using mini sessions as a way to connect with other vendors in the area, whether it’s with my girl Katie from She Rents Vintage, Stacey from The Cake Shop CNY, or with a venue I love - like the Sinclair of Skaneateles.

4 // They’re Timely

Any smart photographer will offer mini sessions before a holiday or during a season when people are going to want photos to give as gifts, in celebration of something, or because the weather is getting cooler and the leaves are changing (I’m looking at you, fall!) I like offering mini sessions around Christmas, Mother’s Day, and in September. This year I’m thinking of squeezing in Father’s Day sessions as well! I have also have done some last-minute headshot sessions so that anyone in need of professional looking portraits of themselves can easily have a handful of good ones. Mini sessions are also easy for a photographer to edit within just a few days, especially if they’re during their off season for weddings, so you can expect the turnaround time to be pretty fast!

So, are you itching to have on of these mini sessions for yourself? You’re in luck! I’m planning a whole day of 20 minute sessions at the end of April, just in time for Mother’s Day! Learn more about them here:



 
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For New Moms // Newborn Photography Session Tips

Photographing couples is such a passion of mine, and I'm so lucky that I get to capture the love that couples share with their new babies through newborn and Fresh 48 sessions. It's so important for me to make a new mom feel comfortable and supported for these sessions, because I know exactly how those early days can be - messy, chaotic, tiring and overwhelming. It's my goal to not only capture sweet photos of your new babe, but to leave you feeling calm and happy after a session. Here are some ways you can prepare for a newborn session with me or any photographer, so we all feel calm and supported in your newborn photo experience.

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Just Relax

The internet is not always our friend in the early days of motherhood. We can be overwhelmed with beautiful photos of babies sleeping soundly through their newborn sessions, in what seem like perfectly styled and cleaned houses with well rested, calm parents. This is an illusion most of the time, and I want you to let go of that false reality in preparation for our session. Focus on tidying the areas you want to shoot in, put on some light makeup and just wear something you feel pretty in - even if that's a t-shirt and leggings. If baby is fussy, you'll snuggle them for as long as you need to and we will take our time to calm them down.

The biggest obstacle to being relaxed during a newborn session is feeling rushed, so I always give us plenty of time to capture the photos that represent this time of your baby's life.

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Feeling relaxed and calm is a big reason why I only offer lifestyle newborn or Fresh 48 sessions now. It allows us to take our time and make you and baby feel most comfortable, while capturing real moments for your family to cherish forever.

Feed the Baby

One of the first things I tell moms when we begin our session is that if the baby is showing you hunger cues, we can pause for whatever amount of time they need to get satisfied! I know personally how nothing good comes from being hungry or wanting a snack - I believe it's called "hangry". And, if breast OR bottle feeding is part of the journey you would like to capture, please let me know! Don't feel rushed - we will resume our shoot whenever you and the baby are ready.

Have Swaddles and Props Ready

Because I feel it's important to capture your family as naturally as possible, I don't usually bring props or blankets of my own - unless we discuss it first. I suggest having at least two cotton swaddle blankets handy to wrap the baby in. One color, patterned, neutral or bright - they're all awesome and will make your session unique! It's also a good idea to have some throw blankets handy to use as easy backgrounds that we can change out with the swaddles. This way, you have a big variety of photos to choose from.

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Also, if there are any heirloom or fun objects you want in the photos it's a good idea to have them out and ready, so when the opportunity strikes I can just grab them and add it to the photo!

Prep your Partner

Many times, these photos are not as exciting for your better half as they are for you. Chances are, they're supportive because they should be at this time of your motherhood journey - woohoo! It's good to let them know that all they're expected to do is snuggle the baby (and you!) I am very careful to capture both parents alone with the baby to make sure everyone feels included, so if this makes your partner feel nervous, just let them know it will be quick and again - just focus on the baby!

Wear Something Neutral

I mentioned before that you should take the pressure off yourself to look like a model right now. Chances are, I'll walk in and be shocked at how amazing you look AND your partner thinks you look like a million bucks anyways, so just keep that in mind if you're feeling less-than. Do your hair and makeup minimally and naturally, and wear something simple and neutral in color so that no matter what the baby is swaddled in or wearing, everyone matches. As far as what you're wearing, think about what you will feel most comfortable in. If that's your favorite maternity jeans and a pretty blouse - great! If that's leggings and a t-shirt - awesome! Motherhood looks great on you, no matter what. Tell your partner the same!

Fresh 48

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Ohhh how I love these sessions. If you haven't seen one or don't know the difference, I suggest you check out this post, this one, and this one! The difficult part of these sessions is when there are interruptions from hospital staff and family. Of course if these are necessary, that's fine but try to let people know beforehand that you plan on having a photographer in your room for about an hour at the time we agree on, so there are little to no interruptions. This is not because I'm selfish and want you to myself, but because introducing more people to the room makes things chaotic and overwhelming for everyone - yourself and baby especially! I want to get in and out as soon as I can so you can go back to bonding and visiting with your family members.

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Siblings

Many of my clients are not first-time moms, and older siblings will be part of the baby's shoot too! This is such a vulnerable time for them, regardless of their age. I try to be sensitive to that and will make sure to get permission from your child to take their picture - especially if it means asking them to do something specific to get "the shot". The last thing I want is for this to be a traumatic experience for them! If they're just not having it, we will let them go do their own thing until they're ready to come back and try again.

I know sometimes what you want most a this time is the sweetest photo of your little loves together, and we will try until it happens. But, keep in mind that this may be overwhelming for the older sibling and kids will not do anything they don't want to do. I feel that at this time of their life, it's important to respect that boundary and settle for whatever we can get!

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So, overall if there is anything you should take away from these points, it's to just stay calm, keep your expectations somewhat low and go with the flow! The MOST important thing is to trust me, and trust when I say this : you'll love these photos so much because when you look at them for years to come, you'll be transported back in time to this incredible time of life for you family.


The Raven Family // Syracuse, NY Family Lifestyle Photography

Hey there! Today I'm so thrilled to share a session that I'm so, so in love with. I don't get to do these lifestyle sessions nearly as much as I'd like to, but when clients come into my inbox wanting this type of session I basically jump for joy. There is something so beautiful about capturing a young family of three, with their first baby who is maybe just starting to become more active and the difficulty of having a newborn has worn off a bit. I love watching two doting parents interact with their little one, in the space they have made to allow their love to expand in.

Winter time is the perfect opportunity to schedule a session like this in your home. Interested? Shoot me an email!

The Scott Family // Skaneateles Lifestyle photography

It's not often enough that I get to photograph in-home lifestyle sessions, much less inside homes that I literally can't stop swooning over. I mean... the Scott's have my idea of #housegoals for real.

Also... holy cow they are just the cutest little family ever!! Baby Paige showed off the cutest smiles and proved to be the best cuddler during this session.

Interested in having a lifestyle session of your own? Winter and chilly weather is the perfect time to snuggle indoors with your family and make some memories that you can look back on forever. Let's chat about it!

The White Family // Skaneateles/Elbridge NY Farm Family Photography

There's nothing better when a photo session combines a beautiful family, a meaningful location, and beautiful evening light! That's exactly what these photos were all about, and I am SO obsessed with every single one. Normally I choose between 15 and 20 photos to share, but I went overboard here because I could not stop... I'm sure you won't mind peeking at a few extra gorgeous photos. ALSO... Nina and Ben take the cake for most beautiful mom and dad photos during a family session. I always try to snap a few of parents together at the end of the session because it's so rare to get a good photo together once you become parents. They NAILED IT!!

The Klein Family // Camillus, NY Family Photography

Hey there! Today I'm sharing some photos of this sweet family, which were also captured on an unseasonably warm October evening - we were walking around in a creek! In October!

I love the photos of this family's little girl, whose name is also Emma, as they all perfectly capture her sweetness and spunk. I mean, if you're name is Emma and you don't have sweet AND sour sides, is your name even Emma? ;D

Thanks, Ronni and Mike, for sharing your family with me, and to Ronni for being such a good friend. I look forward to photographing you guys lots more for years to come.

Caitlyn + Mike // Auburn, NY Family + Engagement Photography

It's such a pleasure when I get to photograph family and friends! Caitlyn is my cousin, and I'm so looking forward to photographing her and Mike's wedding next year. For these family/engagement photos, we headed to one of my go-to spots for beautiful fall afternoon light and happened to get one of the last beautiful, unseasonably warm fall days before the chilly weather struck.

Thanks Cait, Mike, Juliette and Micah for being so awesome during our shoot!! I can't wait to photograph your love again next fall.

October Mini Sessions // Auburn New York

In September, I announced mini sessions and was so excited when they sold out in a matter of hours! It's always such a blessing to have such an enthusiastic response to offerings like that. 9 Incredible families to photograph, each with their own stories and reasons for wanting these sessions. Every one looks different from the rest, which is so neat to see after editing them! You'll notice that as we progress through the day and the light changes, how each session has it's own flavor. Light coupled with wardrobes, location spots and personalities makes for some really individualistic photos - something that I always strive for in mini sessions.

Asher's Baptism // Skaneateles New York Lakeside Baptism

I'm so happy to share the photos from this really special day. Some friends of mine have a new little nephew, Asher, who lives across the country but came to visit! While they were here, they had him baptized... in Skaneateles Lake. I know so many babies have experienced this amazing way of receiving the sacrament of baptism, but I was so amazed at the whole experience.

I am not a person who aligns myself with religion, but I do love the idea of tradition and giving oneself to something greater than we are - whether you call it God, the Universe, spirit, nature, what's up to you. This ceremony was so beautiful because it addressed a universal truth no matter what you believe in. I found myself so enthralled with what the pastor was saying that I barely realized I should be photographing instead! When addressing a group of people who aren't gathered because they necessarily follow the religious teachings of a specific church, I think it's so lovely when the words that are spoken are universal and relative to everyone's lives.

Ok, enough about what I believe. You have to see these photos for yourself... Skaneateles Lake could not have been a more beautiful backdrop for this occasion. The blue color scheme in this set of photos is just amazing!

Thanks so much for stopping by and looking at these photos. And, thank you to Theresa, Jackson, Asher and their families for including me in this amazing day!