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families + kids

happy chaos!

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happy chaos!

It's always extra fun to include the entire family (four-legged members included) in a session. Possibly a bit of added chaos, but that is exactly what makes it real life, isn't it?! This session in Jupiter, FL with a sweet one year old and energetic pup had me smiling so much my face hurt by the end. 

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mini session snippets 2016

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mini session snippets 2016

Yes I did in fact type the year correctly up there. Yes, I'm still an entire year behind in blogging sessions. But I am making myself catch up!
Here are some favorites from several of my Fall 2016 mini sessions, which took place in West Palm Beach and Jupiter. 

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the beauty, even when...

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the beauty, even when...

This session is such a perfect example of how we really can make it all work.
Even when it's overcast and looking like rain.
Even when it turns out to be high tide and there is almost no beach to work with.
Even when kids are simply not in the mood for photos.
Even when siblings are picking on each other.
Even when tears are shed.
There is still so much beauty to be found here. With a little patience, I still get to see and capture a bit of who your family is. 
So throw off the anxiety and just come ready to be yourselves and have fun! 

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it's summer! {document it}

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it's summer! {document it}

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Often the moms and brides I work with are also their family documentarians—the ones making sure photos are taken during every event and vacation, and on most of the days in between. I get it, because I play that role in my own family. We want to make sure that it's all remembered: the big moments and the everyday ones, because we know how fast time goes.

Whether your camera is a big DSLR or an iPhone in your purse (or like me, some of each), there are ways to help your photos stand out and tell the story better. Here are a few of my favorite tips for getting better photos of your life and loved ones:

  • Vary your perspective. 

    Make sure to move around and see the scene in different ways. Get big-picture shots that show the setting, as well as close-ups of the details. 
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  • More than just faces.

Portraits with your subject looking at you are always nice of course, but make sure to capture some of the action too. Some of my favorite images are the ones in which no one is looking at the camera. Notice how your baby's toes wiggle and curl as she feels the texture of the grass, and snap a close-up of those delicious chubby feet!

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  • Find the light (and use it well). 

    In the middle of the day outdoors, this might mean looking for some open shade so your photos aren't overtaken by harsh sun. Indoors, I try to stay near windows and avoid artificial light sources in my photos whenever possible, and I never use flash unless I absolutely must, because it's simply not how the scene actually looks. 
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  • Know your equipment.

Learn to use your camera well! Practice nailing your focus so you miss fewer shots. Read the manual so that you can use more of the available features. If you own a DSLR or any other camera that allows you to shoot in manual mode, you will only be getting your money's worth if you learn to do so! If you're shooting on "auto", you might as well be using a much cheaper point-and-shoot. It's really easier than it seems. Check out basic online photography courses for this, from Click or The Define School
Even if you're just shooting with a smartphone, making sure you know how the camera works can make an enormous difference. One feature that I've noticed many people not taking advantage of: most phone cameras allow you to adjust brightness before even snapping the photo, by tapping the spot you want to expose for. For instance, if the people on your screen are showing up too dark, just touch one of their faces drag your finger up a little to brighten them more. 

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So you have all of these wonderful images, but now what to do with them? Please don't let them simply sit on your phone or hard drive. Enjoy them, and let them be seen! I've always loved creating albums, books, and prints from my images, and I also use them on cards and invitations throughout the year. 

I love stationery and paper. There was a time when I never would have considered an email invitation or card for an important event. The standard electronic cards seemed less special, often a bit cheesy and substandard in design, or let's face it: just plain ugly.

My goodness, has this changed! There is no longer a need to compromise good taste in the name of being earth-friendly and clutter-free. It was only after stumbling across Paperless Post last year that I began to see electronic delivery as a legitimate option for invitations, thank-you notes and greetings. I've used their paperless invitations and cards on a few occasions so far, and am looking forward to doing so again for my daughter's second birthday party in September (two years old! can you believe it?!?).

Paperless Post offers so many gorgeous options for weddings, baby showers, birthdays, holidays, and any other occasions. They've partnered with many leading fashion brands and lifestyle designers, including Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, and Jonathan Adler, so you know these designs aren't just run-of-the-mill.

This was our sweet, simple design for Eaden's first birthday last year.

This post was written in cooperation with Paperless Post, but represents my honest opinion and experience. 

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palm beach weekend

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palm beach weekend

This sweet family of three visited from New York City last August for a weekend on the beach at the Four Seasons, I was lucky enough to spend an hour with them during their trip. They made the entire session ridiculously easy—naturally doing exactly what I was about to ask them to do. It always feels a little like cheating when that happens!  

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