Milestone Sessions are incredibly easy limited-edition photo sessions just for babies and children who are three months and older. But even with an easy session experience, putting a little bit of time in preparation goes a long way…..
Every time I think about the families I photograph, I get this amazing feeling of warmth and gratitude. I am so thankful to have this job and to be able to work with some of the BEST families in Fairfield County. And that doesn't mean that all the kids I have in the Studio are super well-behaved. And it doesn't mean that all sessions go exactly as planned with nothing ever going wrong. All of those things happen, ALL the time.
A maternity photo session with the first child, the soon-to-be older sibling, is so incredibly special. And Michelle is right, this will be the last time it will truly be just the two of them. Once the new baby arrives, the whole world is going to change, and a new normal will soon emerge that isn't better or worse, but certainly different.
Toddlers are ADORABLE. At 18 months, Hadley was walking around, wearing her very own jewelry, and telling Mom what to do, naturally. And Hadley with her Mom together, are the perfect pair.
A lot of parents will readily take photographs of their children. They'll go to a photographer for a newborn photoshoot, a 1-year milestone session, or a Holiday card session every year. And I do that too. I would love nothing more than to document my children as they grow, year after year. The thing that's missing, however, are the photos with Mom. Or with Dad. Or even, both parents together.
So I always suggest that parents, and especially Mom, participate in their child's photoshoot. It might not matter to them, not now anyway, because right now time is slowly moving past without much effect. But five years from now, ten years, or thirty, those images of Mom and daughter become much more than a few digital pixels or a sheet of photo paper.
Hadley will want to know what her Mom looked like when she was little. She will want the chance to look back and to see them together, to know how much she was loved, and how happy and silly she was as a little girl.
So yes, it's so important to document a baby who is growing into a child, but it's equally important to have a record of the most important people in her life, too.
Happy is a home where children grow up surrounded by photos of their family. Griffin and Madeline's parents have been slowly creating little photo nooks, picture frame collections, and photo displays since Griffin (the older brother) was born. They're art-lovers and designers and have beautiful framed artwork decorating their walls already.. so photographs of their children are simply a natural extension of that.
Family photographs in the home actually boost children's self esteem. Framed photos create an inviting space and make sure kids feel loved and cared for. And most of all, I am incredibly honored that Mom and Dad have chosen me to create their family portraits for the past three years for serving that purpose.
Photography is about preserving this time in their life. The kids' rooms and their interests. Their life at home. Their interactions. The quirks and the expressions. But it also goes beyond that.
The truth is, this is the most photographed generation of children, but also one that will end up with nothing once we upgrade our technology in 10 or 20 years. We have tons of photos on our phones and very little that's actually printed.
When I visit my client's homes for the second or third time, I do a little happy dance (on the inside, of course) when I spot photographs on display from their previous session. And they're always on display, because of one very simple reason. I make it super-easy to walk away from the photo session experience with a ready-to-display product. Whether it's the standard matted print which fits perfectly into any 8x10" frame, a set of prints that come with a beautiful stand so you don't have to do any work to display them, or an already-framed wall-sized photograph that comes with a nail and hook. The value isn't in the specific images my clients take home, it's in the fact that they can enjoy them every single day and then pass them down to their children so they have something to remember from their childhood.
Griffin and Madeline will have that. They will have images to remember their childhood. They will see what their parents looked like when they were little. And they will truly appreciate how special these images are when they have their own children to love and cherish, as much as their own parents cherished them.
You are now officially 2 years old, although I felt like you were two for several months now. It could have been the constant tantrums, the end-of-the-world tears, or the bossy demands that made me feel that way.. or the fact that you're understanding more and more, starting to say "thank you mommy" and "please" (you know I can't deny you anything when you do), or the squeeeezes, kisses, and hugs you give me when I ask.
You are turning into a boy with every passing day. You're always thinking of others - you're learning to share, you try so hard to clean up your messes, and you actually put away toys when asked. You request your backpack every time we go to pick up your big brother from school. You eat constantly throughout the day, and if I'm lucky, you will actually consume all of your dinner once in a while (and after about an hour at the table). Your favorite seems to be pasta.. and pizza of course. And you definitely love apple sauce, which you eat about four times a day.
You get numbers. You can count to ten, which is often followed by "Jump!". You're starting to understand shapes, but you still confuse your colors. You call your favorite yellow shirt "red" (pictured below), which I dare say, is inaccurate. You adore rocks and often pick one up when we walk outside. You then throw them, even if we're indoors and the rock happens to be huge. You cried once when I made you leave a large boulder outside. Your big brother covered it with snow so you would leave it behind - he made it a little snow house.
You've completely appropriated my iPad mini. Your favorite shows are Umi Zoomi, Mikey Mouse Club House, and Animal Mechanicals. Your favorite activity seems to be to pull out all the DVDs and the remote control batteries, and spread them out on the living room floor (if we're lucky, you will also throw them all around the house). You climb on the kitchen island, with your whole body, to find little treasures you're not supposed to have. You scream "Oh! Find it!!" every time you get your hands on something good. You yell "Catch!" when you throw things at my face, usually when it's already too late.
You demand my house keys to open doors and press all elevator buttons. You never willingly hold my hand.. unless you sometimes do, and it totally melts my heart. I walk, holding on to your little fingers, so proud and so thankful that you are mine.
When photographing toddlers, you never really know what you’re going to get. Toddlers tend to be very finicky. They know what they want, what they like, and they definitely know what they don’t like, too. Charlie, for instance, does not like to be held. He does, however, enjoy some good tickles from his parents. He loves to run away and to be chased by Mom. And most of all, he genuinely loves spending time with his parents. That last one, I can pretty much always count on. I know that when I show up with my camera, I can ask the parents to snuggle with their independent active little toddler and everything will be just fine.
Charlie’s Mom has worked with kids most of her life. She’s got enough kid-time under her belt as a camp counselor and first-grade teacher that she pretty much knew what she was getting into (a few rounds of taking care of her baby niece definitely helped, too). What she wasn’t prepared for were the sleepless nights. Her vision of Charlie sleeping in his car carrier while she worked out at the gym didn’t quite materialize. Charlie’s Mom exercised right up to the day he was born. But after Charlie, she found herself stuck in the house all day, miserable. Eight months in, she found Stroller Strides (by Fit4Mom).. and it pretty much saved her life. There were other moms, other crying babies, and it got her back into exercising in a way that she could enjoy together with her baby. She now teaches a local Stroller Strides course every week, which is pretty AMAZING!
Charlie’s Dad works in NYC during the week.. and usually gets home after Charlie is already asleep (I know there are so many parents out there who can relate to that one!). So on the weekends, he and Charlie hang out and take it easy. Dad is so excited to finally start playing sports with his little boy, to tumble around and roughhouse. On the weekends, the whole family selects an outing for the day… food shopping, going to the mall, going to the beach during the summer, or visiting grandparents. Mom calls Charlie her “little buddy” and they just take him everywhere they go.
Charlie is a bit of a tornado right now (as most toddlers are) and loves to get into anything and everything around the house. He goes through the kitchen cabinets and closets too, now that he can open doors. He loves to make a lot of noise and is very rough and tumble. Being a curious, energetic little boy is all part of the job.
More than anything, Mom wanted candid images of the family. Photos showing them playing together and laughing. When she was growing up, her home was filled with walls of photos. She remembers how much fun it was to look through them as she got older and wants the same for her little boy too. She waited her whole life for somebody to look at her as MOM. She wanted to be the one to heal the boo-boos, to help her child get up after a fall. She’s been a Mother her entire life.. and now she finally has someone who is her child.