“E” – 1 Year Old Boy / Snow Session

When this past winter had appeared to be over, in terms of any more snow fall, I really regretted not taking more winter-style photos.   I also regretted not having gotten any photos of my friend’s already 1 year old son.   So one morning, when a beautiful flurry started to softly fall, I was on the phone calling my friend in a heartbeat.  I asked her what she thought of doing a mini-session with “E” that morning, and she was all for it.

I threw my camera equipment in the vehicle, and headed right over.  There is really not much else to tell about the photo shoot, except that while the flurries were on & off while I was shooting, but “E’s” cuteness was in full gear the whole time.








Is he cute or WHAT?  I was really glad I took the time to do this session.  It was his first time really playing in the snow, so it’s a memory, and 1 year old is such a special age.  But I do hope I get to do another photo shoot with him soon, because under that hat is some gorgeous red hair!

Hope you enjoyed seeing this session.  I made up a new watermark too.  Let me know what you think!


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{Ju} & Big Bro / Urban to Beach

These two kids, have always been ‘cake’, in front of my camera.   This is my God-daughter {Ju}, and her big brother, {N}.  You may have seen the recent post (as I type this), where {Ju} was a guest crafter with us at Our House Of Joyful Noise.  But I did this photo shoot with them back in July last year, 2010.  Their mom, my cousin, brings them down from western MA every now and then, to have their photos done, and we spend a little time all together too.  Whether I am doing individuals of the kids, or shots of them together as siblings, they always do great!  They are just pretty natural in front of the camera, and that’s always nice!

We decided to do a little urban shooting, and then hit the beach!  I wanted to go for a little serious/tough-boy look with big brother {N}, but it is hard to pass up his smile – which is always readily available!  (Just like his little sister’s!)  Also note, this particular photo shoot trip, {N} brought his buddy along, so I did some shots of, and with, him too.

I had fun processing these, to finish off the images as I saw them in my head. Not much more of my chatter, from here on.

As you’ll see, this is one of several sweet brother & sister shots of them together.  Their connection is the real thing, that came through easy for me, too.

This is my favorite shot of {Ju}. I just love it. It’s a great view of her freckles, and beautiful eyes.  I did her french-braided pigtails, myself.

“Boyz of Summer”


How handsome is this guy!!

This is one of my ‘senior guy’ shots I love to do at this location. He really pulled it off, for a 12 year old, huh?


This was another great one of them together.

I can be very funny. ; )  {Ju} has the best giggle in the world!  (Much like her mother’s.  Who knew such a thing was genetic?)


Their mom wanted me to design a family Christmas card with some of the photos.  Considering the urban/beach kind of shots we got, I went the ‘fun/grunge/non-traditional route’, and she loved it!  ( I did too. : ).    This is a flat, 2-sided 5×7, printed on linen.  It really made the most of their images, and all of my texture work.  (There was no LLR watermark on the real cards.  lol 😉




One of the greatest works out of this photo shoot, was this shot below.  I knew the second I took it, it was going to be something special.  It was bound to be made into even more of an art piece, so I had fun with it.  Their mom ordered a large piece of artwork of it, as a framed piece for their home, and then also got linen note cards of it too.  (Of course, all minus my LLR web frame.)

I can always count on an over-abundance of shots I am happy with, with these two.


An Annual Client Christmas Shoot-2010 / I WIN!(Again!)

Every working professional photographer is bound to have them.  Those photo shoots that are just a little more challenging then others.  I have to say, I’ve been pretty blessed, because more times than not, I walk away from the end of a shoot thinking, “Cake.”   But I have had the occasional high school senior boy, who is ‘so not down’ with having his photos taken > but his mom is making him.  They can be a challenge at first, but I have always been able to work that age.  Shortly into those shoots,  they realize hanging with me is not all that bad after all, (because I’m cool after all).  They find they are relaxed, laughing, and actually having a good time. They forget they had planned to hold onto that difficult attitude, through it all.   Or there is the baby who didn’t take their usual nap that day, and isn’t feeling happy, or co-operative.  Like most babies, I go into it knowing they will need time, comforting, and patience.  (I have had 4 of my own, and 3 at once.  I’ve had a little practice there.)

So yes, it happens, where sometimes, I need to give a little more of myself, to make a successful shoot, out of a rough start.  In the end, we’re all very happy with the results.

Now, every year, I have this one particular client who hires me to have a Christmas photo shoot of her 2 little girls.  I design their family Christmas cards, which is important to her, and she also places a healthy print order. (Well anyway, I require my clients to have placed a minimum order, before they qualify for card designing.)   I truly love this client, and I love her girls.   I have posted about all of their previous shoots, in this section of the blog, before.  After 4 years of working together, it seems we have established a firm procedure:





The little one, Little A, sucks the life right out of me for awhile, we finally get down to some quick and serious happy business, and in the end, it is one of my absolute favorite shoots of the year!!   Every year.

The oldest girl, Big A, is a dream.  She is unbelievably polite, sweet, charming, co-operative, and a-ma-zing-ly patient with her little sister.  I also know she is also extremely smart, because I can see the wheels turning in her head, behind her eyes, when I talk to her.  She is so well-spoken.  She is beyond her years, I think.  A little beauty, with manners I can really appreciate.

Her little sister, on the other hand, (in the background) is a challenge and a 1/2. I love her too!  Honestly, I do! But even at home, she rules the roost, so to speak.  I also love working with the girl’s mother, because she makes no bones about our annual situation.  She understands my position.  I think every year, our little one becomes just a tad more difficult.  Notice, she is not wearing any tights or shoes?  She refused to keep them on, and it was cold out.  Freezing.  The mom  allows me to use these struggles we have, with humor.  (As you’ll see.)  She also buys prints, of our most difficult moments, with her Little A, because she knows someday, they are going to be so treasured.  Real memories to share!

The difficulty can go on, for who knows how long.  But I never give up, because 1) I am committed to making my client happy, 2) I want that order, and 3) this particular shoot, is always a seriously beautiful ending.  Hard to believe, but true, nonetheless.   It’s like giving birth.  No matter how difficult the labor, you forget the pain, once you hold that baby in your arms.

(Ok, I have to admit, I have never forgotten the pain of my own labors with my children.  I can go back there in my mind, in an instant, still.  Maybe, because I refuse pain meds when in labor, so my head is all there.  But, I’ve heard many other mothers say the pain of labor is quickly forgotten.   I can certainly agree that it is worth every bit of the pain, in the end.  The same is true when doing this shoot every year.

Oh, it does tend to go from bad, to worse….



It was during this moment, as she screamed bloody murder, and I hadn’t gotten a happy shot of her yet, that my infamous words came out:

“Come, Lord Jesus.”

These are the words I say, when I need some savin’, because I am about to lose. my. mind.

For the first time in 4 years, I was concerned I was really not going to be able to work it out this time.  That the whole shoot was going to be a complete bust.  It had been 45 minutes of absolute refusal from my sweet girl here, and we were losing time and light, fast now.

But Jesus came, and saved me, as I called.  Something absolutely magical happened……

Our town of Plymouth has a power plant, and every now and then, the sirens go off over loud speakers, throughout the whole town.  A really high pitched, constant, annoying sound, that suddenly sounded much like a famous reindeer we all know!  ; )  Oh yes….I went there:

I let out a big <GASP>, and with that, said, “OH NO, Little A!  Listen!!  Rudolph is coming!!  He is wicked upset that we can’t get these pretty photos of you, for your Christmas card!  What are we going to do?”

If you could have only seen the look of surprise on her face, and the stammering of panic.  She got herself together so quick, wiped those tears, turned her whole attitude around, and gave me every bit of that star quality, with a smile, that I work so hard to get out, every year:

Of course by now, the sun was blasting on my spot. But I was going to take what I could get, and quickly, at this point!

We moved on to the next little spot…..

She was freezing, and a little tentative once again, but workable….

In between their beautiful smiles, was Little A’s leariness of her sister, behind her.  She has a real serious aversion to her older sister. Hey, we all know they will be best friends some day, most likely.  It’ll be a beautiful thing!  But right now?  Little A can feel the compression of air, on her shoulder blade, if her sister leaned in to close to her, and she would scream her pretty little  head off!

So this is where, I show multiple similar shots!!  My camera was going off like a bee-bee gun, because I didn’t know how long this was going to last!  And it was getting darker, rapidly.  I was bumming a little, because I did have another spot or 2, that I wanted to shoot at with the girls, prior to this one.  But I knew we had lost serious time, so I had to prioritize.

I got them smiling and giggling with my antics and non-sense talk. (Really…there isn’t much I won’t do, if I need to.  I’m in full fool-mode, sometimes.)

But I can’t take all the credit.  My oldest daughter {A}, who is often my very helpful assistant, was right behind me, and really got them laughing.   As similar as these photos seem, I just love the progression of their expressions….

I am beyond happy at this point, and the mom is relieved!!  You know what is so comforting?  The mom always says every year, “If you can get ONE good one, I’ll be happy!”  Well…..I know I can do better than that!!

My heart is full of joy at this point, and I just know, these photos are going to be beautiful – because they are!!  Look at them!!

Check out Little A’s tongue sticking out!  She does that all of the time, when she is laughing, and I love it!

Here’s a question for you……..Have you had any idea where we might be doing this on-location Christmas shoot?  Any guesses at all?  Yes?  No?  Maybe?

Well here’s the answer:





Yes, the cemetery.  I scouted high and low, for a new creative place to work with this family this year.  If you’ve read the past posts with this family, I have full creative license, and I love that!  So, I always want to keep it fresh and new every year.   I admit, I was a little nervous to tell the mom on the phone: “I did find a great location I want to use.  It is going to sound crazy but, you know….I see ahead of time in my head, how I am going to work it. I’d like to do your Christmas shoot…..in the …..cemetery.”   <Mom laughs.>   And then she says, ‘That does sound crazy!  But I trust you!  I trust you!!  Every year, no matter what, it is all beautiful in the end.  You always work a miracle, and that’s why I keep coming back to you!’

Boy was I relieved, because I had nothing else to suggest by then!

And now, is their resulting 5×7 folding Christmas card.  Imagine…it was printed on pearl paper, with a glossy finish. I SO wish, I could put one in your hand right now, because they were DIVINE!  The color, the depth, and the shimmer beneath that glossy coat.  They just look flat here, compared to the real thing. But….still lovely….


OPENED: THE INSIDE SPREAD.  (Their name blurred for privacy.)

And the back, I always have fun with…..




The mom LOVED the back!!  As always.  She said it was CLASSIC!  That’s what I mean…..she is so great to work with.  Her girls have grown on me from the very first shoot with them, and it has been beautiful  to watch them grow.  I know Little A will get easier in time.  I’m willing to bet, that extra spunk and spirit, will take her places in life.  If all else fails, she always has those adorable dimples to fall back on!  Her big sister has a bright future too.  No doubt about it.

Until next year!!

(I’ll be sharing more sessions, soon, if you are enjoying these?  But I’d like to share some of Michael’s lettering work too, first. )

*  I hope you enjoyed a peek into this photo shoot!

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1 Year Old Birthday Beauty

It’s time I made some more effort, to share some of the photo sessions I have done lately.  Although this one was actually shot at the end of 2009!  I had postponed sharing it, because I knew it would be more timely to share with the next feature post on Stitch A Wish Designs, which is posted right now over in the Crafts & Creations section of the blog.

Reason being, my wonderful client (the blessed mother of this sweet little girl), hired Michelle of Stitch A Wish Designs, to make a special tutu’d outfit for her daughter’s 1 year portraits.

So meet Miss J!

First, she is  shown here, wearing an adorable cupcake dress that her mom found somewhere, which couldn’t have been more perfect, with the 1 candle in the cupcake!  I love it.

Just look at these 2.  Both have me very much wrapped around their finger.  I adore them.

I have photographed Miss J, and her brother Mr. J, since each of them were born!  It has been a true blessing photographing them each time, and watching them grow.  Truth be told, both of them are usually very smiley!  I have had a number of photo shoots with Mr. J, and getting him to smile has always been a breeze.  But on this particular day, he and his sister were in very. serious. moods!!

{A} and I worked hard to get them to smile!  We were playing pitch and catch with a soft baseball, with Mr. J, and he would laugh and smile while catching and throwing, but return to his position at his sister’s chair side, between each play, very serious once again.  We tried everything.  It was almost comical. Thankfully, their parents didn’t mind much.  I love them as people for sure, but as clients they are the best to have!  Because they treasure all photos of their children, that show the wide range of their children’s moods and expressions, which is wonderful!  None of us are all smiles, all of the time.  Right?  But these 2 kiddos are are usually pretty happy-go-lucky anyway.  I was stumped this round, and that is a rare happening!  But they are both beautiful in their portraits, regardless.  I love that they did it their way, and we all love the photos anyway.

THIS, is the outfit Michelle, at Stitch A Wish Designs, created for my client. Is it so cute, or what??  The tutu, in fuchsia, light pink and chocolate brown tulle, were perfect for her.

The matching onesie with the polka-dotted number one, was also custom made for her, as was the complimentary headband! I could look at this face all day!

This photo was not actually a planned one in my head, as is the way I usually work.  Miss J. was crawling around, and sat this way facing the lights, and I took the shot.  I ended up loving it, and so did her parents!  They got it BIG, for their wall.

The smiles came with the cake though!!  She made a quick hot mess of her birthday cupcake!  But she was so happy, we didn’t care!  She was smiling, laughing and clapping!

The photo shoot was tougher shoot than I am used to with these 2 kiddos, just trying to get a couple of some smiles out of them.  But I always enjoy this family’s company anyway.   They are beautiful and wonderful people, inside and out.  We knew we got shots to treasure none the less, smiles or not.

When all was said and done, it was later than we had anticipated, so both of our families gathered around our table, said grace,  and had some dinner together! (Michael’s home made pizza, if you must know! ; )

Is Miss J. a dolly or what?  I just love the photos we got of her at this precious milestone age.

I’m also glad I got this post up, before she turned 2!  Phew! ; )

{JM, O, S}’s First Holy Communion/Formal Portraits

I took these formal portraits of my own kids, for their First Holy Communion, at one of my favorite locations, that is also so fitting for the occasion, seeing as it is religious retreat grounds.  Because I wanted them here at this place, and because I knew there would be no time on their actual day of Sacrament and celebration, we did these a few days prior.

In case you are not a regular blog visitor, let me just say these smiles are so real.  Our trio have been waiting to receive this Sacrament with all of their hearts, for a very-long-time.

(I also have to say, it irks me how the blogging process of the images makes my color a little wonky, and the images soft!  Spot on color and tack sharpness are both requirements of myself & my own work -so this drives me crazy!  But….I need to let these little things go, if I’m going to share with you.  But not before mentioning I am aware of it. lol : )

This was a real moment.  I turned around from talking to one of the others, and there he was, just like this. <click!>

I know this photo is not so great – just because of the scale of the 2 subjects.  But, I have to share it because it was SO important to {O}.  She told me in the beginning she wanted her photo taken with Mary.  After every photo I took she asked, “Now, can I have my photo taken with Mary?”   So there it is, and she’s happy!

A creative way to be sure everyone sees {O}’s special nail job!  These are the perks of being the girl, between 2 boys! ; )

We’ll be blogging about their actual day and celebration soon as well, in The Big Picture section.  It was a special day for sure, with lots of loved ones joining us to celebrate, but inevitably bitter-sweet as well.   We hope you are able to check those out later.  But we were excited to share these formals with you.  They have never been so dressed up, and they loved it!  {O’s} veil was custom made, and details of that will also be blogged about soon.  Aren’t they sweet looking though?